Risks of Donor

What are the risks of the bone graft donor site?

(a) Chin graft risks

The main risk is numbness for the chin and lower front teeth. There are small nerve endings within the bone in this region which are often disrupted with the grafting procedure. There is commonly (although not always) some numbness of the chin area and lower front teeth immediately after surgery. This is usually temporary, and in most cases will resolve after several months.


(b) Ramus graft risks

The graft is harvested from the back of the jaw. The disadvantage with this graft is that the quantity is small and the quality is mainly “corticol” which is not often as good as chin grafts for most implant sites. The advantage is that there is less risk of numbness. There is a sensory nerve (inferior alveolar nerve) which is very close at the ramus site, and if transected during surgery could result in more profound and permanent numbness than the chin region.  This is rare, and usually avoided by an experienced surgeon.


(c) hip graft risks

If large quantity of bone is required then we may need to harvest bone from the hip (iliac crest). This is now becoming less commonly required due to the availability of synthetic bone that we can use to increase the volume of bone graft taken from the chin or jaws. Risks of the hip graft procedure include: temporary gait disturbance and nerve injury (very rare) resulting in numbness or neuralgia of the thigh.