Introduction to Bone Grafts
I. Bone Grafts
Bone Grafting– is a surgical procedure that is performed to replace or add bone to a patient’s body. Four types of bone grafts include;
- Autografts (selfgrafts)– is when bone is harvested from the same individual. This is the most ideal bone graft material. It can be in several forms including block grafts which are solid pieces of bone and bone particles which is grounded up larger pieces of bone. In dentistry, autografts are usually taken from the chin and ramus of the jaw. However, it can be taken from the iliac crest (hip) and ribs as well. One of the disadvantages to this type of graft is that another surgical site is required.
- Allografts– is when bone is taken from another individual of the same species. Donors are screened and the samples are go through rigorous testing. The samples are then irradiated and freeze-dried. One of the advantages to this procedure is that there is not an additional surgical site to harvest bone.
- Xenografts – this is when bone is taken from one species and grafted to another species (ie. bone from a cow and placed in a human). This type of bone grafting is rarely used in dentistry.
- Synthetic grafts– are created from ceramics such as calcium phosphates, bioglass and calcium sulphates. These are good to fill in a bony void but have limited uses in dentistry.
The uses of bone grafts in dentistry is usually associated with dental implant placement and to restore an area where a tooth once was.
Photo of a dental bone grafting procedure