Today, bone grafting is a fairly routine, predictable and, most importantly, painless procedure. It is not the most common procedure but there are times it is necessary and the best solution.
While bone grafting used to involve harvesting areas of the patient’s own bone, today we can use processed bone that has been harvested mostly from animals. These grafts are generally comprised only of the mineral content of natural bone. The grafts have been sterilized and have had all organic material removed. Using cow bone (bovine) as a graft material has become very common in oral surgical offices. It is a tried and proven technique.
A simplified explanation for the success of grafting is that a bone graft is placed to act as a placeholder. It prevents the collapse of the surrounding tissues, whether it is bone or soft tissue. Through a process called ‘guided tissue regeneration’, your body is fooled into recognizing the graft as natural bone and over time replaces it with your own natural bone. This makes it highly effective as a treatment option.