Bone grafts are often necessary for dental implant patients before they can get their replacement teeth.
Implants need a solid foundation of tissue in the jawbone for support, but missing teeth can lead to significant bone loss. Transplanting or grafting new bone material solves this problem and this simple, minimally invasive procedure can be done right here in our office.
Oral surgeons typically use one of four types of bone grafts — autografts, allografts, xenografts or alloplasts — for dental implant patients with jawbone degeneration. Our oral surgeons will recommend the type of grafting material that is most appropriate for you.
Autografts, or autogenous bone grafts, are small sections of tissue taken from the patient’s hip, leg, rib or elsewhere in the body. Using an autograft adds an additional step to dental implant surgery, but the grafting material is considered the most effective for jawbone regeneration.
Oral surgeons also prefer autografts because they carry no risk of rejection by the body.
Allografts are also human tissue, but these grafts aren’t harvested from the dental implant patient.
Instead, the material is sourced from a tissue bank, where it is thoroughly tested for health and safety in transplant use. However, as tissue banks cannot guarantee that allografts are risk-free, some oral surgeons advise against their use in certain patients.
Xenografts are derived from living tissue, but not from human donors.
These bone grafts come from either cow (bovine) or pig (porcine) bone. Xenografts are biocompatible to human jawbone tissue, and the bone regenerated with this grafting material is dense and strong.
Alloplasts are synthetic bone grafts made from surgical-grade resins, calcium sulfate, hydroxyapatite, calcium phosphate and other minerals that encourage jawbone regeneration. Alloplasts have been successfully used in dental implant surgery for years, but oral surgeons typically prefer other bone grafting materials for implant patients.
Which Type of Bone Graft Is Right for You?
For most dental implant patients, autografts are considered the optimal choice due to their superior regenerative properties. But every patient is different, and oral surgeons consider the individual needs of each patient in determining which bone graft material to use.
Some patients are opposed to tissue harvesting, for example, so they won’t consider autografts. For others, religious convictions go against the use of xenografts or alloplasts. While surgeons may recommend certain grafting materials over others, individual patient concerns take precedence.
Keep in mind that not everyone who gets dental implants needs to have a bone graft first. Patients who already have sufficient jawbone density can skip this procedure.
The professional oral surgeons at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah are the leading Salt Lake City area tooth restoration specialists, with over a decade of experience in placing dental implants and bone grafts. Contact us at our convenient Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan and Tooele offices to schedule a consultation with one of our oral surgeons today.