Autograft, allograft — your oral surgeon is throwing out options for your bone graft procedure and you’re not sure how to tell them apart. What’s the difference? Is one any riskier than the other? Which is the right choice for you?
Bone grafting sounds complex, but it’s one of the most effective ways to spur new growth in your face and jaw, whether you’ve had an injury or are suffering from disease and decay.
When Is Bone Grafting Necessary?
With bone grafting, your oral surgeon adds bone to the surgical site in an effort to stimulate new bone formation.
For example, if you’ve lost a tooth, the jawbone that used to support that tooth will begin to deteriorate, since there is no tooth left to hold in place. The body stops sending nutrients to the area because it is no longer needed.
If you’d like an implant placed in the jawbone, grafting is then necessary in order to provide a foundational area for the post.
This is only one example — bone grafting may be necessary for a variety of reasons. Gum disease, jawbone trauma and facial injuries may all warrant grafting to help ensure a successful surgery to result.
Your Top Options
Once your oral surgeon has established that you need a graft, you may have the option to choose which type. The two main kinds are autograft and allograft.
An autograft is done with bone that is taken from elsewhere in your body, while an allograft uses a sample from a human donor.
Each option has pros and cons. An autograft is your own bone, but it requires an extra surgical step and an additional incision site. An allograft isn’t your own, but it saves you from undergoing a harvesting procedure.
There are additional types of bone grafts. A xenograft uses bone taken from animals. There are also synthetic bone grafts.
What to Expect from the Procedure
For oral and maxillofacial bone grafting procedures, you and your surgeon will decide on the best treatment course. The area will be anesthetized and the graft material placed within the incision. Healing can take from three months to a year. You will have regular follow-up appointments to monitor bone health and growth.
What You Can Expect from Us
At Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, you should only expect the most involved care from a caring team of professionals. Deciding whether to choose allograft, autograft or any other bone graft option is a choice made easier with the expertise of our team behind you.