Whenever Biological Bone Augmentation is out ouf question, we are compelled to revert to foreign material. Regarding the process of bone augmentation by means of foreign material, three different options can be identified:
- Bone material obtained from animal or plant-based tissue (xenogeneic vs. heterologous). In most cases, material from cattle bones is used.
- Human foreign bone (allogenic) deriving from donor bones of deceased human beings.
- Synthetic material (alloplastic); usually, canned tricalcium phosphates are used.
It is important to note that dead bone replacement materials such as cattle bone, cadaver bone or synthetic material are purely osteoinductive, in other words, this material merely functions as a structure into which the bone can (but must not) grow. Also, there is a danger that this material will not be marbled by the patient’s own bone. Whether or not this happens is highly dependent upon the patient’s individual regeneration potential. This may work for one patient while failing for another. Even worse – these materials are extremely susceptible to any kind of (e.g. bacterial) contamination through saliva, which is why infections and losses of replacement material frequently occur during the healing period.