There are many reasons why you may need a bone graft before you can get a dental implant. Perhaps you had gum disease, which led to a loss of bone, or you had bone resorption because you had a dental bridge or partial denture in the area. But if you do need a bone graft, there are many potential sources for your graft material.
From Your Own Body (Autograft)
You are often your best donor. You know the material is from a healthy individual, and it is always compatible. There are many common sources of bone grafts, including:
- Calvaria (the top of the skull)
- Iliac crest (on the pelvis)
- Tibia (shinbone)
- Ramus (side part of the jawbone)
- Sinfisis (chin)
- Maxillary tuberosity (lower part of the skull behind your upper jaw)
Of course, if you serve as the donor, there must be a separate surgery to extract the graft. This surgery includes its own risk of complications, and may require a hospital stay. Some studies suggest that the ramus might have the lowest risk of complications.
Donor’s Body (Allograft)
Grafts may also be taken from the bodies of donors. People who donate their bodies give not just organs, but generally their bones as well. These donor grafts are thoroughly cleaned with antibiotics, radiation, and special chemicals that remove all potential contaminants.
Bone Graft Alternative
With the increasing demand for bone graft material, there is often not enough donor material available. If you don’t want to use your own bone, you may be able to use a synthetic bone graft material. There are many different synthetic bone graft materials approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), made from a variety of materials, such as heterologous porcine bone, calcium sulphate, and magnesium-enriched hydroxyapatite. We may also be able to use certain proteins to encourage growth of your own bone.
How to Choose?
There are many factors to consider when deciding what is the right graft material for your bone graft. From our perspective, we will look at the amount of graft needed, the force it will be subjected to, and other clinical factors. You can also contribute your preferences, such as whether you are willing to have donor site surgery or whether you want to avoid grafts with human or animal tissue. Together we will find the perfect material to support your dental implant.
These issues will be discussed in detail when we are planning your dental implant surgery. To start your discussion, please contact My Hills Dentist in the Baulkham Hills area of Sydney.