There are different types of bone grafts which can be used and the most common types are autogenous grafts, allograft grafts, and xenograft grafts. An autogenous graft (autograft) is bone that is taken from another area of the patient’s body such as the chin or hip. As the bone is taken from the patient’s body, it contains live cells which promote growth and bone formation, which is why it is considered a very successful method and is the most used technique. An allograft is usually taken from a cadaver and combined with synthetic material. It can also promote growth and bone formation. A xenograft uses bone from animals such bovine or porcine bone.
The type of bone graft used should be discussed with the dentist before the surgery in order to determine the best option for the patient. Once this has been established, the procedure will go ahead with the agreed type of bone graft. If having an autogenous graft, then the bone will need to be removed from another area of the body first, before proceeding.
At the tooth extract site, the bone graft material is added to the area and left to heal. For more recessed jawbones, material is added and then a tarp is placed over the site to prevent infection and give the area time to heal. Alternatively, solid bone material is fixed to the area (eg. with screws) and the fixing material is removed at a later appointment.
A range of materials are suitable for this procedure. In some cases, the patient’s own bone tissue is used, or else tissue from a donor. It is also possible to use entirely synthetic products for this procedure.
The Bone Graft takes 1 to 3 hours.
The bone graft procedure may take several hours, depending on the method used and the extent of bone loss. The dentist may also ask that the patient return after a few days to check the gum is healing and to remove stitches.