About Bone Grafting

Oral Surgery Offices in Bellevue & Renton WA

Over a period of time, the jaw bone associated with missing teeth atrophies and is reabsorbed. This often leaves a condition in which there is poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for the placement of dental implants. In these situations, most patients are not candidates for the placement of dental implants.

With bone grafting we now have the opportunity to not only replace bone where it is missing, but we also have the ability to promote new bone growth in that location. This not only gives us the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width, it also gives us a chance to restore functionality and aesthetic appearance.

Types of Bone Grafts

Autogenous Bone

Autogenous bone, or autograft, is taken from your own bone, somewhere else in the body. The bone is typically harvested from the jaw, hip or lower leg bone. Autogenous bone is advantageous in that the graft material is your own live bone, meaning it contains living cellular elements that enhances bone growth, also eliminating the risk of your body rejecting the graft material since it comes from you. However, one downside to the autograft is that it requires a second procedure to harvest bone from elsewhere in the body.

Allogenic Bone

Allogenic bone, or allograft, is bank bone harvested from a cadaver, then processed using a freeze-dry method to extract the water via a vacuum. Unlike autogenous bone, allogenic bone cannot produce new bone on it’s own. Rather, it serves as a framework, or scaffold, over which bone from the surrounding bony walls can grow to fill the defect or void.

Xenogenic Bone

Xenogenic bone, or xenograft, is derived from non-living bone of another species, usually cow, pig or horse. The bone is processed at very high temperatures to avoid the potential for immune rejection and contamination. Like allogenic bone, xenogenic bone serve as a framework for bone from the surrounding area to grow and fill the void.

Both allogenic and xenogenic bone grafting have an advantage of not requiring a second procedure to harvest your own bone, as with autogenous bone. However, because these options lack autograft’s bone-forming properties, bone regeneration may take longer than with autografts, and have a less predictable outcome.