25 May Where does bone grafting material for dental implants come from?
In order for dental implants to osseointegrate fully, the patient must have adequate bone tissue to form a strong bond with the implant. If there is not enough bone, the dental implant may fail prematurely. For patients who have suffered significant bone loss following their tooth loss, bone grafting can help to improve the chances of long-term dental implant success.
An oral surgeon can obtain the needed supplemental bone material from a variety of sources. The bone graft material can come from elsewhere in the patient’s body, such as a hip or the chin. This is called autografting. This bone material does contain the patient’s own cells, reducing the risk of rejection. However, it also requires another surgical site in addition to the implant site, which may be unappealing to patients.
Alternatively, the bone may come from an external donor source, such as a cadaver or even from processed animal bone. This is called allografting when it comes from another human source or xenografting when animals provide the bone. This technique eliminates the need for a second surgery and has been demonstrated to be reliably safe, but it may take longer for the bone to “take” in this type of procedure.
Synthetic materials may also be used for bone grafting, such as a matrix composed of proteins, growth factors and collagen extracted from an external bone source and processed.
Your oral surgeon will discuss your various options for sources of bone graft material and make recommendations based on certain characteristics of your case. We encourage you to ask any questions that you may have about the source of the bone graft material.
Keep in mind that bone grafting does extend your overall treatment timeline for dental implants, but it will be worth the wait to increase the likelihood that your implants will stay in place for decades.
Bone grafting can help to improve some patient’s chances of keeping their dental implants for a long time. If this procedure has been recommended in your case, talk to one of our surgeons about your options for sources of the bone graft material.