Understanding the Different Types of Bone Grafts For Your Dental Procedure

Now that your dentist has recommended a bone graft for your treatment, it is important that you understand the different types of bone grafts available to you. Some doctors do not give their patients an option and will use what they are comfortable with and have been using for years. This is where it is up to the patient to be fully aware and have the knowledge and understanding of the choices available to them before treatment. If your doctor has not recommended the various types of bone grafts to you, we will discuss your choices in this blog post so that you can feel safe, comfortable, and informed knowing your options.

The majority of dentists will most likely recommend a cadaver bone graft (allograft) without giving the patient an option. We feel this is this unfair to the patient, especially since the technology in the field of bone regeneration has evolved. Let’s face it, who wants someone else’s dead body parts? Not me!

Let’s review your choices:

Allografts (Cadaver Bone)

These are ground up bones from a deceased donor or a cadaver that has been cleaned and stored in a tissue bank.

Xenografts (Animal Bone)

These are grafts of tissue taken from a donor of one species (cow, pig, or horse) and grafted into a recipient of another species, in this case, you. 

Autografts (Your Own Bone)

These come from a bone inside your body, such as your ribs, hips, pelvis, or wrist, which is harvested and transplanted into the new site.

Alloplasts (Synthetic Bone)

These are composed of material that is not taken from an animal or human source. Alloplasts can be derived from natural sources (elements or minerals), synthetic (man-made) substances, or a combination of the two.

Now that you know your options, let’s discuss their functions and how your body reacts to each one of these bone grafts after placement.

Allografts and Xenografts
We will put these two in the same category because they share the same biological reaction. They both share the same treatment process of cleaning and gamma sterilization. However, in all allografts and most popular xenografts, proteins are left on the surface after the cleaning process. Due to this process, and after placement, the grafted site in your jaw undergoes an inflammatory process that causes your tissue to become hard and sclerotic. Both of these bone grafts produce sclerotic bone which is not normal. Sclerotic bone is a type of tissue that your body produces in order to defend itself from a foreign object and remains in the jaw indefinitely – it will never go away.

Autografts
These are seldom done because they require a secondary surgery and many times patients simply refuse. The bone is harvested from the patient’s own body, ground up, and transplanted into the extraction site in your jaw. This is a good choice if you do not mind a secondary surgery.

Alloplasts
These are the preferred bone grafts by patients who have been informed of their options. They do not contain animal or human elements and are derived from natural resources. Although there are a number of alloplasts available, they do not all perform the same. The majority of alloplasts are primarily calcium sulfate. Calcium sulfate alone does not perform well as a bone graft.

However, SteinerBio has transformed this field by introducing regenerative therapy that allows the patient’s own bone producing cells to regenerate their own bone back. This patented technology and FDA-cleared bone graft products allow the patient and doctor to choose a safe and effective bone graft therapy without having to use sub-standard allografts, xenografts, or autografts.

Before getting bone graft therapy, knowing this information will make a difference in the longevity of your dental implant.

Having a good foundation to any structure determines the longevity of that structure.

Get Informed.

Becoming health-literate means being empowered.