What are the risks (long term and short term) of using Cadaver Bone Graft before Dental Implant?

What are the risks (long term and short term) of using cadaver bone graft before dental implant? Would it be better to just have the tooth (last molar on the lower area) extracted than to extract and do an implant? My last molar has infection, which is my dentist said we might need to do a bone graft for better support of the implant.

Doctor Answers 7

Cadaver bone graft

There are few if any issues with human donor bone grafts. They have been treated to remove the transmission of any diseases. I would not hesitate to have such a bone graft. Our patients always have the option of bovine (cow) or lab made bone, too. We see that the best graft is the human donor bone but only a few percentage points better...so not a big issue ever to me. All bone grafts are subject to having to be stabilized well to work well. Moving bone grafts (under pressure from dentures, chewing on them) do not form as much bone as well protected bone grafts for instance. Time is a significant factor in how well a bone graft works due to the fact that old scaffolding (donor bone) is replaced by host bone generated by the patient over time.  Bottom line...don't worry about what type bone too much. Just enjoy your implants when you get the teeth!


Suwanee Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Risks of bone graft

If you have an infected tooth and it has to be extracted, I recommend not to place implant right after extraction. It is better to extract your tooth, place bone graft for socket preservation ( can be synthetic or cadaver), wait almost 3 months for healing then place implant. There is no risk for using cadaver bone graft. It is just psychological issue.

Ali Makhmalbaf, DDS
Los Angeles Dentist

Human sourced bone graft risks

All bone graft materials are sourced for certified and licensed bone banks.  The graft materials are usually irradiated and the chances of transmission of disease is almost nil.  Infection is possible as with any implantation of foreign material.  There are other synthetic materials that can be used or even your own bone harvested from your mouth.  You need to discuss all the options with your dental surgeon and come up with the best plan for you.

Cadaver Bone Graft before dental implants

As long as your dentist uses a certified and recognized bone bank, your risks are minimal. Your surgeon can also get some bone from your own mouth to graft into the extraction socket. You need to know your options. There are various grafting materials (cadaver, coral, ceramics, membranes) that work as well as cadaver bone and you should know your options. 

Herbert Veisman, DDS
Toronto Periodontist
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Essentially zero risk

First, one needs to understand how bone works to begin with.  Bodies need calcium to function, so cells "digest" bone to free it up.  Other cells lay down bone where it previously was taken, a sort of "circle of life."  A graft simply creates a scaffolding to lay down bone.  Long term the graft (no matter what material is used) is gone, it is replaced with host bone.  Some materials take longer to turn over, so bone is normally best.  Your situation LIKELY is best done by extracting the infected tooth, grafting to preserve bone VOLUME (needed for an implant) and then placing an implant when healed.

Risks of Cadaver Bone Graft

Should you just extract or have an implant - 99% of the time, having an implant is the better alternative. Short term risk of cadaver bone - the risk is mostly related to the surgery and healing - pain, swelling, etc. It is possible that the graft might not integrate well with your own bone. Long-term, there has never been a case of any disease transmission so it is mostly psychological/moral risk related to the bone source.

Robert Penning, DMD
Toronto Dentist

Bone Grafting

First of all , if you have an infection, remove that molar, i do not recomend you to have bonegraft there, then after at least 3 months, i really recommend you to set an implant there, with or without bonegraft, can be bovine, or human, both are good options, and are FDA aproved, and its a very easy procedure. Hope this helps, TY

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.