One of the central premises of Periodontics, Orthodontics and Implants is a solid understanding of bone physiology. Most people think bone is like cement or like a rock. It is not. Bone is a living tissue that is always tearing itself down and building itself up brand new.
Another premise as it relates to implants is “No bone, no implant” meaning if there is insufficient bone you cannot place an implant. Using knowledge of bone physiology we can re-grow bone where it has been lost. Once the bone graft has been placed, the patient’s body will tear down the bone graft and replace it with all natural bone.
Where does the bone come from?
Most of the bone graft material we use comes from a bottle. We get it from donor banks and the American Red Cross. The bone is thoroughly sterilized through a variety of acid bath washes, detergent washes, deep freezing and even irradiation. Over the years there have been millions of bone grafts placed and not one case of disease transmission has ever been reported! At times we will also use bone from animal sources (cow, pig) because across the animal spectrum the molecular structure of bone is the same.
There are four main types of bone grafting that take place around implants: