Dental Bone Grafting

Getting a dental implant bone graft is the last thing you want to hear. No only does your jawbones health affect your ability to get dental implants, but will affect the cost of the dental surgery related to receiving your teeth implants.

One thing to understand right off if you have heard that you need dental implants is that you should not delay in the process of getting them as soon as is convenient for you. Why? because your jawbone gets weaker by the day unless it is under stress, exactly the same as a muscle. In fact after the loss of a tooth, via extraction or injury you should expect around a 30-70% bone loss (of the immediate area) within a
4-8 month time frame. This is much faster that you would guess, so if you are even vaguely thinking about implant dentistry you should take it very seriously and proceed with the work as soon as possible.

If you have already been diagnosed as having bone loss in your jaw then you need to understand what is involved and how it affects the timeframe to getting the implant.

Why do I have to get a dental bone graft?

In Plain English why you need the bone graft prior to getting the implant. Think of it like building a house, your new construction needs a sound, firm and non moving foundation in order to build on. Same scenario here, your dentist or oral surgeon needs a firm and stable jawbone into which to place the implant.

Conditions that lead to bone loss in the Jaw.

  • Multiple teeth removal
  • Single tooth removal
  • Gum disease
  • Infection
  • General erosion
  • Rare hereditary conations
  • Bone density loss due to aging

How and what is used to graft into the jaw

The dentist will chose either an autogenous bone ( which means one that was taken from your body- not common)
The more common grafting material is a synthetic or artificial substitute for your lost bone. Variations on synthetics abound but the main difference is weather or not the new grafted material is expected to stimulate growth of your natural bone or simple harden and be able to accept the full stress of the implant by itself.

The modern synthetic bone substitutes are incredibly strong and are generally suitable to take the load and stress of an implant charge.

The advantages of the Synthetic bone substitute that does not rely on your body to re grow new bone material is time. Some patients still feel better with natural bone growth being the goal.

Bone Grafting in Detail, methods and terms you should know
The various types of materials and how they are processed or procured for pre dental implant bone graft surgery.

Block Bone Grafting
For this dental surgery bone is harvested from the patients body usually from the upper hip or chin area. This is done in a hospital and sent to the dentist to use on site. The bone is implanted into the patients mouth and let to rest and stimulate new bone growth for up to six months. This is the most expensive and time consuming graft a dental implant patient can receive.

Allograft Bone Grafting
Not one of my favorites this is bone that was harvested from cadavers (dead people) The reason it was named allograft was to steer clear of the source of the origin of the material. This is controlled by bone banks and they report no instance of transmitted infection to date. I have read several opinions to the contrary and their are several court cases involving this. It would not be my first choice personally, but is something you need to think about and discuss with your dentist.

Xenograft Bone Grafting
Bone material is harvested from an animals body for using as the grafted material. This has some minor history of causing infections and the need to remove the graft and wait till the infection has passed before either trying again or using an another material. Bovine is the most common choice.

Bone Expansion Grafting
This dental surgery is a bit different as it can use any of the above materials for the graft but the jawbone is separated at one or more points to make additional space, the separated jaw bone will receive a graft and after 6 months will be read for implantation.

Synthetic Bone Substitute Material Grafting
Synthetic produced bone materials are used to build up or strengthen the jaw to prepare it for implanting. This bone graft should be considered as strong as your natural bone if done correctly by a specially trained oral surgeon or dentist. Some people consider a allergy test a viable option prior to a foreign substance injected into into their face.


Dental implant bone graft options at a glance
Allograft – Bone harvested from Cadavers (dead people) Block – Bone from your own body, hip or chin is the normal source
Xenograft- Bone harvested from animals primarily cows Synthetic Material – Bone substitute from man made chemicals



The Type of implant can affect whether you need a graft or not in same cases. A modern type of implant which uses basically a screw type post can be inserted into the jawbone at an angle. This sometimes means the patient can get an implant with out getting a bone graft. If your bone loss is marginal or for a one tooth implant, consider seeking out a dentist that specializes in this type of implant.

If this type of implants works for your situation This alone can save you thousands of dollars , see affordable dental implant option


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