There are several materials available which can be used as a bone substitute, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Your Own Bone
Also called ‘autogenous’ bone. If this option is chosen, we source bone from somewhere else in your mouth and then reposition it in the desired place. Autogenous bone is an ideal material for grafting, however its use does require us to perform surgery elsewhere in your mouth, which is a disadvantage. For this reason we usually prefer to use the following bone substitute material.
Bone Bank Substitutes (Allograft)
Allografts is widely used in orthopaedic surgery and in dentistry for bone grafting. They are ethically sourced and clinically safe to use. They perform the closest to your own bone and contain proteins which encourage bone development
You can view some Allograft examples here
Animal Bone Substitutes (Xenograft)
Multiple xenografts exist from bovine (Bio-oss) or porcine (Mineross-XP) origins. It is 100% safe and its properties are very similar to autogenous bone. It is the material that we use most commonly at our practice.
This covers a broad spectrum of materials which are becoming increasingly popular with new research. Alloplasts include hydroxyapatite, bioactive glass or ground coral.
In the months after a bone graft, the bony substitute material is gradually replaced by your natural bone. This process is complete after approximately four to six months, at which time an implant can usually be placed in the site. After about 18 months, if an implant is not placed in the site, the new bone starts to shrink away, so it is important to have your implant placed within 18 months of your bone graft.