About Bone Grafting
Types of Bone Grafts
Autogenous Bone Grafts
Autogenous bone grafts, also known as autografts, are made from your own bone, taken from somewhere else in the body. The bone is typically harvested from the chin, jaw, lower leg bone, hip, or the skull. Autogenous bone grafts are 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. Depending on your condition, a second procedure may not be recommended.
Allogeneic bone, or allograft, is harvested from a deceased human donor, then processed using a freeze-dry method to extract the water. Unlike autogenous bone, allogeneic bone cannot produce new bone on its 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 is derived from non-living bone of another species, usually a cow. The bone is processed at very high temperatures to avoid the potential for immune rejection and contamination. Like allogeneic grafts, xenogenic grafts serve as a framework for bone from the surrounding area to grow and fill the void.
Both allogeneic and xenogenic bone grafting have an advantage of not requiring a second procedure to harvest your own bone, as with autografts. However, because these options lack autograft’s bone-forming properties, bone regeneration may take longer than with autografts, and have a less predictable outcome.
Bone Graft Substitutes
As a substitute to using real bone, many synthetic materials are available as safe and proven alternatives, including:
Demineralized Bone Matrix (DBM)/Demineralized Freeze-Dried Bone Allograft (DFDBA)
This product is processed allograft bone, containing collagen, proteins, and growth factors that are extracted from the allograft bone. It is available in the form of powder, putty, chips, or as a gel that can be injected through a syringe.
Graft composites consist of other bone graft materials and growth factors to achieve the benefits of a variety of substances. Some combinations may include: collagen/ceramic composite, which closely resembles the composition of natural bone, DBM combined with bone marrow cells, which aid in the growth of new bone, or a collagen/ceramic/autograft composite.
Bone Morphogenic Protein
Bone Morphogenic Protein (BMP) is an isolated protein that induces specific cells in our body to form new cartilage and bone. During the procedure, the BMP material binds with a collagen sponge. The collagen sponge, which is designed to dissolve over time, is then placed in the deficient area. As the sponge dissolves, the bone morphogenic protein stimulates the cells to produce new bone.
Synthetic materials also have the advantage of not requiring a second procedure to harvest bone, reducing risk and pain. Each bone grafting option has its own risks and benefits. Dr. Burns will determine which type of bone graft material best suited to your particular needs.