Bone Grafting: Allograft vs. Autograft

Loss of teeth can result in mDentist Inspecting Patients Teethajor structural changes in the face that can affect your appearance. When you have missing teeth, your jawbone will lose its form and shrink over time. When this happens, there may not be enough bone to support a tooth restoration procedure like implants. This can make you look older than you really are.

Fortunately, there are procedures that can repair the supporting bone around your teeth. Bone grafting can restore mass in areas with insufficient bone structure because of gum disease or previous tooth extraction. This paves the way for the placement of dental implants. The bone grafting material can come from your own bone (autograft) or from a tissue bank (allograft).

Utah Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center discusses the differences between allograft and autograft.

Allograft

This refers to the synthetic bone derived from a different person, like an organ donor. The tissue is processed to ensure safety and boost handling characteristics. The main advantage of the allograft bone grafting is it will not require another surgical site, as the material is readily available from a tissue bank.

Allografts have an excellent safety record and are well documented in medical trials. It is also clinically proven effective, and can induce new jawbone formation in conjunction with another person’s bone tissue. The American Association of Tissue Banks says that over two million allografts have been transplanted with no incident of disease transmission.

Autograft

Autograft bone is the material taken from a patient’s body to a desired location. It can be an excellent graft material as it has the patient’s own cells. The bone material can be harvested from different areas, depending on the size of the defect. The skull, lateral knee, and hip are common sites where tissue is taken from.

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The major setback of an autograft is that it requires another surgical procedure and the sufficient harvestable bone is not easily available.

If you are not qualified for dental implants because of insufficient bone structure, bone grafting is the answer. It can regenerate bone tissue so there will be enough support for a new tooth. Work closely with your oral & maxillofacial surgeon for more information about this procedure.