Types of Bone Grafts

Bone grafting is a surgical procedure employed to replace or repair damaged bone by transplanting bone tissue. Three main types of bone grafts are commonly utilized: allografts, autografts and xenografts.

These bone grafts involve using bone tissue harvested from a donor. The advantage of allografts lies in their ready availability, eliminating the need for a second surgical site on the patient. The donated bone undergoes rigorous processing, including irradiation and freezing, to eliminate potential infectious agents and preserve its structural integrity. While allografts can provide structural support and promote bone regeneration, there is a risk of immune rejection, necessitating careful matching and processing.

Autografts involve using bone tissue harvested from the patient’s own body, most commonly from the iliac crest, ribs or fibula. Autografts are considered the go-to for bone grafting due to their similar biological properties and reduced risk of rejection. Additionally, autografts contain live bone cells, growth factors and a scaffold that facilitates new bone formation. However, the limitations include the need for a second surgical site, potential donor site morbidity and limited graft quantity.

Xenografts entail the use of bone tissue from a different species, often bovine or porcine sources. These grafts are treated and processed to remove cellular components, minimizing the risk of immune response. Xenografts act as a scaffold, promoting new bone growth and ultimately being replaced by the patient’s bone over time. While xenografts offer an alternative for patients with limited autograft options, concerns exist regarding disease transmission and the potential for slower incorporation compared to autografts.

Each type of bone graft has its advantages and limitations, emphasizing the importance of careful consideration and personalized treatment plans in bone grafting procedures. We invite you to call Periodontal Associates at 303-755-4500 to learn more about which type of bone graft in Aurora, Colorado, is right for you, by scheduling a consultation with our periodontists, Dr. Douglas Heller or Dr. Eric Beckman.