Sometimes when a dental implant is placed, it is necessary to build up the bone in the area to insure success. The procedure of building up the bone is known as Bone Grafting. Bone grafting is a very common procedure in dentistry and it is used quite a bit for dental implants and in periodontal procedures around natural teeth. In order to do bone grafting, we need a source of bone to place in the site. The bone that we use can be one of three types. The best bone is bone that is taken from the patient that we are working on. This bone can be taken from other areas of the mouth or collected in our suction apparatus as we drill into the bone to prepare the sites for dental implants. Occasionally this bone is taken from areas outside the mouth, such as the hip. When bone is taken from the hip, it is usually done in the hospital by an orthopedic surgeon and transferred to the dentist doing the implant procedure in the OR.
Another very common source of bone is bone taken from cadavers. This bone is harvested under very strict supervision at several bone banks around the country and it is used in many dental and medical procedures. There has never been a case of a transmitted disease with this type of bone. It is very safe and very useful in our work to help patients. A third type of bone is a synthetic type of bone taken. This has some use in dentistry but it does not seem to be as useful as the first two types of bone.