Surgical Dentistry

Bone Grafting

Bone grafting is a crucial dental procedure aimed at restoring jaw volume and density, addressing bone loss resulting from various factors such as tooth extraction, gum disease, or trauma.

Understanding Bone Grafting as a Prerequisite for Dental Implants

In cases where the jawbone has deteriorated, a bone graft may be recommended before proceeding with dental implant surgery. We will explore the significance of bone grafting in preparing patients for successful dental implant placement.

Reasons for Bone Grafting:

1. Preserving Bone Integrity:

Following tooth extraction, bone grafting can help mitigate the loss of hard and soft tissues, maintaining the structural integrity of the jaw.

2. Enhancing Implant Support:

When the bone around a missing tooth weakens, it must be strengthened to provide sufficient support for dental implants. Inadequate bone can lead to implant failure or make the procedure impossible.

The Bone Grafting Procedure:

1. Autograft:

Autografts involve transplanting bone tissue from the patient’s own body, typically the chin, jaw’s rear, or hip. This approach is preferred as it reduces the likelihood of rejection and contains bone-growing cells that promote successful healing.

2. Allograft:

Allografts utilize bone tissue from deceased donors, which is rigorously cleaned to minimize disease or bacterial transmission risks. This method eliminates the need for a second procedure to harvest bone.

3. Xenograft:

Xenografts use bone material from animals, like cows or pigs, with thorough cleaning to reduce transmission risks. While less common, they prove useful when donor bone availability is limited.

4. Alloplast:

Alloplast bone grafts employ synthetic materials, such as calcium phosphate or calcium sulfate, to create bone-like structures. This option is suitable when donor bone is scarce.

Candidates for Bone Grafting:

Bone grafting may be necessary if:

Significant bone loss has occurred due to tooth extraction, gum disease, or trauma.

Bone resorption is observed, often due to active gum tissue disease, previous dental abscesses, or infections.

Patients are regular smokers, as smoking negatively impacts bone health.

Commonness of Bone Grafting:

Bone grafting is a frequent requirement before dental implant placement, given the prevalence of bone loss caused by various factors, including gum disease.

The Bone Grafting Procedure:

Before Surgery:

A thorough oral examination and dental X-rays are conducted to assess the patient’s condition, including the extent of bone loss. A personalized treatment plan is discussed and finalized with the patient.

During Surgery:

Bone graft surgery is performed under local anesthesia to ensure patient comfort. In some cases, sedation may be administered for anxious patients.

An incision is made at the affected site between adjacent teeth.

The graft, selected based on the patient’s needs, is prepared and inserted into the damaged area, often secured with screws, wires, or pins.

The incision is closed with stitches or staples.


Normal side effects include swelling, bruising, and discomfort, which typically subside in a few days. Gauze packing may be used, and patients are prescribed pain relievers and antibiotics as needed.

Adhering to post-operative instructions is vital to promote healing and prevent complications.

Dental Implants After Recovery:

Complete healing typically takes three to nine months, with dental implant placement recommended six to 12 months post-bone graft surgery. Patients can consult with their dental professional at the appropriate time to discuss dental implant options.

For individuals experiencing tooth loss or gum disease and considering dental implants, scheduling an appointment with Dr. Khosrovani at A Briter Smile is a proactive step towards a healthier, confident smile.


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