Bone Grafting Materials

What are bone grafts made of?

We have a wide variety of materials available to us these days for use in bone grafting. Bone grafting is the rebuilding of jawbone through the introduction of materials, including bone itself, and growth enhancers.

The materials used in bone grafting can be natural or synthetic, human or non-human, and have a variety of other attributes necessary to regrow bone in the jaw.

Here are some of the most common types of bone grafting material that we use:


Autografts (Autogenous)

Autografts are made from bone taken from your body. Often the donor site is your chin, jaw, hip, lower leg or the skull. The advantage of autogenous bone grafts is that they contain living cellular elements to assist and encourage bone growth with great success. And, because they are from your own body, there is no risk of rejection. The downside of using your own bone in the grafting process is that you have to go through one additional procedure to harvest the bone.

Allografts (Allogenic)

An Allograft comes from a human cadaver, and thus is “dead” bone. While unable to produce new bone on its own, this type of grating material gives structural support and encourages the surrounding bone to “fill in”, thus correcting the deficiency. The advantage of using allogenic bone grafts is that the patient doesn’t require an extra procedure for the harvesting of his or her own bone.


Xenogenic Bone

Donated from a non-living animal of another species, typically “Bovine” (from a cow), this type of grafting material is processed at a very high temperature to encourage acceptance by the human body. Xenogenic bone grafts work in a similar way to allografts, by providing structure and encouraging the body’s own bone to grow and fill the void. As with allografts, there is no need for a second procedure to harvest bone from the patient’s own body.

Synthetic Bone Graft Materials

There are a variety of synthetic materials available as a substitute for real bone in the grafting process. The advantage of these is that they do not require a second procedure to obtain the grafting material.

Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMPs)

BMPs, proteins that are naturally found in the body, promote healing and support bone formation during the grafting process.

Demineralized Bone Matrix (DBM)

DBM is the growth factor-rich, organic collagen matrix that is taken from an allograft bone and injected into the grafting site. It is also referred to as “Demineralized Freeze-Dried Bone Allograft” (DFDBA).

Composite Grafting Materials

A variety of materials such as collagen, ceramic, growth factors, bone, DBM and marrow may be combined to create an optimal grafting composite.

The wide variety of bone grafting materials allows us to provide our patients with options tailored specifically to their case. If you have questions about bone grafting, please give Dr. Biggerstaff or Dr. Parker a call at Kernersville Office Phone Number 336-992-2123!