Understanding a Bone Graft: Allograft Vs. Autograft

After an injury to your jaw, face, or teeth, you may be told that you will need to undergo a bone graft procedure. To help relieve some of your anxiety you may feel about this procedure, we will explain what a bone graft is and look at the type most popular types of bone graft procedures that are performed by oral surgeons.  

What is a Bone Graft?

A bone graft is a specific type of surgical procedure that is designed to fix bones and joints or to help the body replace missing bone. The surgeon will take a special type of bone material or a part of the bone from your body and implant it into the area where the graft is needed. Once implanted in the body, the bone will regrow and either fix the joint or bone or add additional stability to a certain part of the body.

For example, after facial trauma or damage caused by an illness, an oral surgeon may recommend a bone graft that can fix the joints or bones. On the other hand, patients who are missing bone, either from aging, illness, or trauma, may need a bone graft to provide additional stability to a certain part of the body.

What is an Autograft Bone Graft?

Autograft is considered the preferred procedure of choice for oral surgeons. Oral surgeons prefer this procedure because it has a higher success rate. Other procedures, such as allograft, can be successful, but a patient has a higher chance of success with autograft procedures.

An autograft bone graft involves taking bone tissue from one section of your body and implanting it or placing it into another. For example, an oral surgeon may take bone from chin position of the jaw and place it in the mouth where a dental implant is going to be placed.

Autograft bone grafts have higher success rates because the body doesn’t have to try and adapt to the new tissue. The tissue comes directly from the body, so there is only a brief transition period.

While autograft procedures are preferred, they do have one major disadvantage. The disadvantage is the need for a more complex and longer surgical procedure. Since the surgeon needs to take bone tissue from a different part of the body, the patient has to go through a long procedure to remove the bone and then place it back in the body.

What is an Allograft Bone Graft?

Allograft bone grafts are similar to autograft procedures with one difference – they use bone or tissue from an additional source instead of the patient. The bone or tissue usually comes from a cadaver bone. It is cut from the source and then grafted into the patient.

Allograft bone grafts may be recommended if there isn’t enough additional bone or tissue to graft it from other parts of your body or if you are unable to go through a lengthy recovery time.

Consult with an Oral Surgeon to See Which Bone Graft You Will Need

If you have been told you need a bone graft, you may be confused about what type of graft you will need. An oral surgeon, like Dr. Sedaros, can help you not only understand what bone graft you will need but can answer any questions about the bone graft procedure.

Dr. Sedaros will provide you with a personal consultation for a bone graft. During the consultation, he will conduct a complete and thorough examination. This examination will help him get a better idea of your oral health, what problems you are dealing with, and what type of treatment can help you. After the examination, Dr. Sedaros will ask you a series of questions about your oral hygiene habits, lifestyle choices such as do you smoke or take specific medications and previous medical history. Once all the information is obtained, Dr. Sedaros will be able to recommend which bone graft is right for you.

Call our office today to schedule an appointment for a personal bone graft consultation with Dr. Sedaros.  

 

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