When teeth are removed, the jaw bone begins to recede. The bone may be compromised by the tooth problem to begin with. A good bone foundation is necessary for reconstruction and cosmetics, especially with dental implants.
There are many combinations of materials that have been used to rebuild the jaw bone. Initially, we used the patient’s own bone. This is the best substance. The morbidity of a second surgical site is great, but it hurts a lot worse than where we put it. Processed human bone is now most commonly used. I prefer not to put people in people. Bovine (cow collagen) products are also commonly used. I use bovine collagen membranes in plug and sheet form in many grafting procedures. Synthetic bone crystals (tricalcium phosphate or TCP) are now available that stimulate bone formation predictably well.
A patients own platelets (platelet rich fibrin or PRF), harvested at the time of surgery, enhance any grafting procedure. This is relatively easy to do now. Processing takes 12 minutes or less.
A combination of the patient’s own blood-PRF, synthetic bone-TCP, and bovine collagen work very well to rebuild lost jaw bone. This is often done at the implant placement procedure. It is sometimes necessary to do prior to implant surgery.