Allografts: An Overview Of Using Bones From A Donor For Your Dental Implants

Posted on: 1 September 2016

Dental implants are becoming very popular, but many people need to get a bone graft done to replace the bone that has deteriorated over time. The bone graft is necessary to thicken your jaw bone so it can hold the implant once it is anchored to your jaw. Your dentist might decide that they will do an allograft bone graft.  If your dentist has said you will have to have an allograft bone graft done and you want to learn a little bit about the procedure, here is an overview of how the procedure will be performed.

Selection of Bone

A dental allograft bone graft is typically done by using bone from a cadaver, but bone from things like a hip replacement can also be used. A cadaver is a deceased person who arranged to have portions of their bodies to be used for medical, dental, and research after the person has died.  The use of bone from cadavers and other people is becoming more popular as dentists turn away from taking living bone from another part of your body to use in your mouth.

Sterilizing the Bone

The donated bone will undergo a series of tests to make sure the dentist is not passing along any diseases from the donor to you. The bone tissue will typically be tested for the presence of HIV and other diseases. If there are not any signs of disease in the tissue, the bone will be used for your allograft. The testing is typically done at a licensed and certified testing facility.

The bone will also go through a sterilization process to make sure that any bacteria or viruses that could cause an infection are killed before the bone fragments are placed into your mouth. The sterilization is done by using a chemical solution or by using processes called irradiation and/or ethylene oxide sterilization. Irradiation is performed by exposing the bone to radiation. Ethylene oxide is a gas and the bone is sterilized by the gas as it penetrates the bone tissue.

Bone Usage

The dentist will attach the bone to the damaged bone by cutting an incision through the gums and placing the bone on top of your original jaw bone. This will cause your natural bone to grow and cover the grafted bone until there is enough bone to rebuild your jaw enough to insert the anchors used to hold the dental implants in your mouth. The whole process can take up to a year before you grow enough bone to insert the anchors.

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