Bone augmentation or bone graft is a procedure that involves adding bone or bone like materials to the jaw in order to be able to place dental implants.
If a person does not have enough bone where a tooth has been extracted or has been lost, a dental implant cannot be placed because it will not hold in the jaw.
A patient will need a dental implant to replace a missing tooth, whether it was extracted or it broke some time ago or if it needs to be extracted and replaced immediately. The doctor will determine whether or not there is enough bone to place the implant, however, in most cases, the bone augmentation is necessary.
The four types of bone augmentation commonly used:
- First, there are autografts (or autogenous grafts), in which the bone is taken from the patients own body, usually from the chin in dental procedures. This type of bone graft has proven to be the most successful, since there is no other graft as compatible.
- There are also allografts (or allogenous grafts), which are taken from human donors, and are converted by the patients own bone into natural bone. They undergo numerous controls and sterilization processes; they are often chosen to avoid a second surgery procedure other than the implant placement.
- Then, there are xenografts, or bone augmentations taken from animals, most commonly from cows. These go through strict processes in order to become biocompatible and sterile for future use.
- Lastly, there are alloplastic grafts, made from artificial or synthetic materials, either calcium phosphates or hydroxy apatite, that stimulate the patients body to form natural bone. Alloplastic grafts have the least success rates of all the types of bone augmentations; however, it is the one with least probabilities or risk of infections.
Bone augmentation offer patients who have had extractions the opportunity to create an area filled with bone or bone like materials in order to place in dental implants or to restore defects in the bone. They are very successful and it is an excellent option for being a good candidate for implants or any other dental restoration procedure.