All bone regeneration procedures utilize some type of bone graft material. The type that’s best for your procedure depends on the size, shape, and strength of the graft material that you need. However, it will be one of these four types:
Autograft: An autograft–also called an autogenous graft–is bone material that comes from someplace in your body. This requires a second surgical procedure.
Allograft: An allograft comes from another human donor. This normally comes from a bone bank, which takes its bone from donors. The bone graft material may be sterilized so there are no living cells in the bone material, just the mineral bone material.
Xenograft: Xenograft bone comes from animals other than humans. Most often, this is cow bone. As with allograft, a xenograft may be sterilized.
Alloplast: Alloplast grafts are synthetic bone material. Bones are mostly mineral, so it’s possible to get a good bone graft material that is based on mineral pieces.
In addition to a bone graft, your periodontist may employ growth factors to encourage your body to grow bone around the graft. These are special proteins that encourage healing in your body. These can be especially helpful in encouraging the growth of blood vessels necessary to sustain your new bone.
One source of growth factors is platelet-rich plasma (PRP). For PRP, we will take a small amount of your blood and concentrate the healing factors. A similar but slightly different approach uses plasma rich in growth factors (PRGF).
Another approach specifically concentrates on the blood clotting factor, fibrin, and is called platelet-rich fibrin (PRF).
Finally, there are commercial sources of growth factors, commonly known as plasma-derived growth factors (PDGF).