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What Is a Dental Bone Graft?

Your oral surgeon may recommend a dental bone graft if X-rays reveal bone loss in the jaw, also known as jawbone atrophy.

Grafting is a simple in-office procedure that takes little time and comes with several benefits. The surgery works to stimulate jawbone growth, which helps you keep a strong, healthy smile and maintain your youthful look.

So, what’s in a dental bone graft? Where does the transplanted tissue come from?

Four types of grafting materials are available. You and your oral surgeon will decide which is right for you.

Facts about dental bone grafting


With an autograft or autogenous bone graft, the bone tissue will come from your body. A small section of bone, taken from your hip, rib or leg, offers highly effective jawbone regeneration. However, using an autograft means adding an extra step to your procedure.


An allograft is a human tissue, but it comes from a tissue bank. The bone grafting material is extensively tested to ensure safety for transplant use, but tissue banks can’t guarantee that an allograft is without risk. For that reason, your oral surgeon may advise against this option.


Like autografts and allografts, xenografts are living tissue. However, the source of this type of bone graft is either a cow or a pig. Bovine and porcine tissue are biocompatible for use within the jawbone, and a xenograft offers a high rate of jawbone regeneration.


An alloplast isn’t living tissue — it’s synthetic, man-made grafting material. The material, comprised of surgical-grade resins, calcium sulfate, calcium phosphate and a host of other minerals known to encourage jawbone regeneration, has a long history of safe use. That said, this is the least common choice of most oral surgeons.

Selecting a Type of Dental Bone Graft

If your oral surgeon says grafting is essential to prepare for dental implant surgery or to preserve your oral health, what type of bone grafting material will the procedure require?

Autografts are ideal in terms of bone regeneration, but you might not like the idea of harvesting your bone tissue. On the other hand, you may be opposed to xenografts and alloplasts due to your personal beliefs. Your oral surgeon will consult with you about which grafting material will work best for you.

With the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah team, getting a bone graft is a routine, simple procedure with a smooth and easy recovery. Our highly trained oral surgeons have over a decade of experience successfully treating northern Utah patients who experience jawbone atrophy.

Contact Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele today to schedule a dental bone graft consultation.

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