It is not an uncommon question to ask what a bone graft is and where it comes from. There are medical classification systems for different type of bone grafts based on its source, the degree of mineralization, particle size, method of deproteinization and sterilization, etc. These are rather important information in clinical practice but may not be as meaningful for patients as much.
In order to keep it simple for my patients, I’d like to mention the high lights of a dental bone graft.
TYPE OF BONE GRAFTS: (based on the source they are obtained)
- Autograft (patient’s own bone)
- Allograft (cadaver)
- Xenograft (bovine or porcine bone)
- Alloplast (fully synthetic; hydroxyapatite)
Most dental bone grafting procedures are performed to restore (regenerate) your bone defect to its previous form following tooth loss, periodontal disease or trauma. Bone grafting may also be used to maintain jaw bone structure after tooth extraction.
Not all bone grafts are the same. They do not behave the same when placed in the mouth. Some patients may have preferences based on religious believes, personal preferences, etc. and choose one over the other. Bone grafts selection is a complex topic and there are many differences and intricacies in the way they are processed and manufactured that may be a good indication for a certain clinical scenario but not for a different one.
If you don’t have any particular objections for using any of these graft materials, it is best to ask your doctor for a recommendations and let them choose what is best for your case.
Dr. Noohi, a surgically trained and dual certificates prosthodontist is a good source to make a recommendation for your case. Call to make an appointment for a consultation to find out more what is best for you.