What Is Bone Grafting For Dental Implants

Bone Grafting For Dental Implants

Dental implants are one of the best treatment options for missing teeth. They an excellent option for people who need to replace rotted, broken or damaged teeth. However, for dental implants to have stability and longevity the jaw must have enough bone area. When people’s jaws don’t have enough bone mass for dental implants, bone grating can help. Bone grafting is a surgical procedure used to create a solid base in which to put dental implants. The bone used for dental bone grafting can come from one of four sources. Those sources are the patient, a donor, an animal or synthetic material.

What To Expect

The aim of bone grafting is to build a solid bone base into which dental implants can be inserted. The patient is usually under local anesthesia during the procedure. The oral surgeon or dentist cuts the gum and then inserts the bone graft material. The cut in the gum is then stitched closed. The dental implant isn’t put into the area where the bone grafting has been done until it’s completely healed. It can take 3 to 6 months for new bone to grow and be strong enough for the implants. Experiencing some swelling and discomfort during this time is normal.

Preventing Unnecessary Pain And Discomfort

To prevent complications and speed up the healing process after bone grafting surgery, follow the dentist’s instructions. Bone grafting is an invasive surgical procedure. Following all of the dentist’s recommendations helps to prevent patients from suffering pain, swelling and discomfort unnecessarily. Once the jaw bone has healed completely, the dentist can safely insert the dental implants. At that point the jaw bone will be wide and strong enough to hold the implants firmly in place. Bone grafting can help the implants to last longer and look, feel and function better.

When Are Bone Grafts For Dental Implants Necessary

When teeth are extracted, the jawbone can lose as much as 25% of its width. Gum disease can also reduce the size and strength of the jawbone. This can leave patients with jaw bones thin, weak and without enough mass to hold a dental implant. For the jawbone to be able to firmly hold the dental implant in place, dentists sometimes recommend bone grafting. While bone grafting isn’t always necessary for inserting dental implants, dentists recommend it when the jawbone looks thin and weak. This can prevent the excruciating pain of having the jawbone break after the dental implant is inserted. It can make a dramatic difference.

Different Types Of Dental Bone Grafts

There are several different types of dental bone grafts. The most common ones are the Autograft, Allograft, Xenograt and Alloplast. Lets take a closer look at each one.


An autograft is when dental surgeons use a patient’s own bone for bone grafting. The hip bone is usually the main source of the bone to be grafted. But, material can also be taken from the back part of the jawbone, the lower leg, upper shin bone or even a rib. Autografts are considered to be a good option for successful bone graft. There’s less chance grafting bones taken from the patient’s own body will cause complications. Autografts are considered by many to be the “gold standard”.


Allograft is a type of bone graft where the bone used comes from a donor. That donor is a human who does not have to be an identical twin or even related to the patient. The donor could be living or dead. Allografts are often used to make a section of the jaw bone better prepared to handle dental implant placement. Originally, allografts were used when too much bone material was needed for the graft to be taken from the patient.

Today, the patient is given the option to use their bone material to do the graft or donor bone material. An allograft is sometimes the best option.


A xenograft is when bone material is taken from an animal and used in a bone graft in a human. This is often done when the patient’s bone material cannot be used and a suitable human bone donor cannot be found. The animal goes through intensive testing and screening to ensure it has no dangerous illnesses or infections. The bone material from the animal is then ground up, processed, prepared and surgically inserted next to the patient’s jawbone. Within a few months new bone grows over the animal bone material and the xenograft strengthens the jawbone. The patient is then ready for the implants.


An alloplast is the process of doing bone grafts using manmade materials. The synthetic material used is made using surgical grade resins, hydroxyapatite, calcium sulfate and calcium phosphate. Other minerals are also added to help the patient’s own jawbone to regenerate. Hydroxyapatite, a natural mineral, is the human bones primary component. An alloplast is considered to be a synthetic bone graft. But, manmade hydroxyapatite is so compatible with natural bone, this type of graft is done most often. Another reason alloplast is used in bone graft for implant is the superior hardness of the material.

Materials Used

The materials used in bone graft for implant varies widely depending on the type of bone loss that occurred and the option the patient chooses. If patients have gingivitis or gum disease, it impacts the materials used for bone graft for implant procedures. It requires treating oral health while deciding should the patient’s bone material, donor, animal or synthetic bone material be used. Often, hydroxyapatite combined with other minerals and synthetic materials is chosen for bone graft for implant procedures. The bone graft cost can also impact the grafting materials that are used.

The Procedure

Dental bone grafting is considered to be a minor surgical procedure. In most cases it is done in the dentist’s office using local anesthesia. The procedure entails making a cut in the patient’s gum so the dentist can get access to the jawbone. Once the dentist can get to weak areas of the jawbone, the grafting material is added. The best source
of the grafting material is the processed bone minerals from the patient’s own body. It reduces the risk of complications and enables new bone cells to be quickly deposited around the bone graft. The procedure repairs damaged bone and can help save the teeth.


After the graft patients may have swelling, bruising, bleeding and numbness in the area where the grafting procedure was performed. It’s normal for these symptoms and some pain to be present for a few days. Complete recovery from a bone graft takes 3 to 6 months. However, most patients feel discomfort and have to limit their diet to only soft foods for about six weeks. Until their mouth heals properly, patients should only have smoothies, mashed potatoes, oatmeal, scrambled eggs and cooked vegetables. During recovery it is very common for most patients to have difficulty chewing and speaking.

Signs Of A Failed Dental Bone Graft

Although it is very rare, dental bone grafts sometimes fail. There several signs of dental bone graft failure of which patients should be aware. If the patient suddenly experiences severe pain in the graft area, it could mean the graft has failed. When patients also have fever, inflammation, difficulty biting or chewing, loose teeth or shifting implants, the graft may have failed. Other signs of dental bone graft failure is if the gums around the implant are swollen and receding. Should any combination of these symptoms occur, it’s essential the patient contact a dentist right away.

Preventing Bone Loss From Gum Disease

Gum disease can lead to bone loss in the jaw. Preventing bone loss from gum disease is a relatively simple process. The best prevention from gum disease that leads to bone loss is practicing good oral hygiene consistently. This means properly brushing the teeth twice a day and flossing them at least once each day. This loosens and removes food particles and bacteria that can cause gum disease. Regularly visiting a dentist or dental hygienist once or twice a year is another effective gum disease prevention method. People at high risk for gum disease should get professional teeth cleaning more often.

Where To Get The Best Dental Care In Houston Texas

If you live or work in Houston, Texas and want the best dental care services, call or visit Voss Dental. They have several caring, well-trained, highly skilled, experienced dentists, dental hygienists, dental surgeons and many other dental health experts. Whether you want regular checkups, teeth cleaning and whitening, extractions, all on 4 dental implants, braces, root canals or dental bone grafts, call them. Voss Dental has a modern facility with all the latest and best dental care technology. They also have the cutting-edge dental tools and technology, know the latest research and use the dental community’s best practices.

How Much Does Bone Grafting For Dental Implants Cost

The average cost of dental implant bone grafting can range from $300 to over $3,500. It depends on the condition of the jawbone of the patient. The bone graft cost for a simple procedure using synthetic bone is between $300 and $800. When the patient’s own bones or a donor’s bones are used, the cost can be between $2,500 and $3,500. The added cost is for hospitalization, an anesthesiologist and an orthopedic surgeon. CT scans, full mouth x-rays and other needed procedures also increase bone grafts and dental implants surgery costs. Voss Dental has affordable prices and exceptional dental care.

[ See also Average Cost of Dental Implants ]

Bone Graft For Dental Implant

A tooth extraction or gum disease can leave jawbones too weak for a dental implant. If so, the patient may need a bone graft before dental implant can be done. The dental bone graft procedure makes the jawbone strong enough to support a dental implant. A jaw bone graft for tooth implant is a simple procedure that can be done in the dentist’s office. People not familiar with the bone graft implant procedure often ask, What is bone grafting for dental implants and Where do they get the bone for dental implants. Hopefully this information about bone graft for implant has answered both questions. Having problems with your teeth or jaw? Contact Voss Dental to schedule a consultation.