Dental Implants

Bone grafts are procedures performed at Pacific Northwest Prosthodontics that increase the quantity of bone in a section of your jaw in which bone has been lost or in which extra support is necessary.

Bone might be removed from somewhere else inside the body and fused surgically to the existing jawbone. Artificial bone material is sometimes used.

Occasionally, a bone graft is necessary if further treatments, like implants, are needed or if bone loss impacts the oral health of teeth and gums nearby.

Read further to learn how the bone graft works, how to know if you are a good candidate, how the process is performed, and what type of results to expect from the procedure.

Dental bone graft: What is it?

There are many ways bone grafting may be performed, yet the process is the exact same: A surgeon or dental professional makes a cut inside your jaw then attaches (grafts) additional bone material to your jaw.

Usually, dental bone grafts are performed if a patient has gum disease or has lost one or multiple teeth. Both of those conditions may lead to bone loss inside your jaw.

The best technique for bone grafting includes using your very own bone from the back of your jaw, tibia, or hip. It’s called an autograft. Usually, autografts are the best techniques, as they increase bony support inside your jaw, as well as promote new formation of bone and faster healing.

Below is a list of four material sources for a graft, each of which has its own risk and benefits.

Kinds of dental bone grafts

  • Alloplast: It handles artificial material, like calcium sodium phosphosilicate or calcium phosphate.
  • Xenograft: It involves taking bone from an additional species, like a coral, pig, or cow.
  • Allograft: The graft uses bone from a separate person, typically a cadaver.
  • Autograft: It involves bone taken from your own body, like from the jaw or hip.

An analysis performed in 2019 noted that we have not yet determined the perfect bone reconstruction material, yet promising bone graft materials utilizing gene-modifying drugs, growth factors, and cells are on the horizon.

Who is a good candidate for this procedure?

Here is a list of the reasons you might require a dental bone graft.

Bone loss

Good graft candidates include the ones whose facial features have been impacted by bone loss. The loss of bone mass inside the jaw may cause your face to appear shorter than it once did.

If the bottom bone in your jaw loses bone mass, it may look as if it protrudes forward. Without a healthy amount of bone structure beneath them, your lips and the muscles that surround them may change the way they look. The skin within your jaw area may look more wrinkled.

Loss of bone inside a jaw usually occurs in older people, just as the chances of suffering osteoporosis increases as older adults age.

However, an individual of any age who has experienced an injury to their jaw or suffered issues associated with poor oral hygiene or additional oral problems, like major infections, might also require a bone graft.

Gum disease or tooth loss

Even if you aren’t getting a dental implant, bone grafting might be needed to support a part of the jaw that has lost bone due to gum disease or tooth loss.

Bone loss may begin affecting gum tissue and teeth nearby. Stabilizing your jaw using a bone graft will assist in preventing more bone loss and any long-term health complications which come along with it.

If gum disease is not effectively managed, it may produce more tooth loss and perhaps heart disease.

Dental implants for missing teeth

Patients who’ll receive dental implants in place of their missing teeth are common candidates for grafts.

Implants are artificial roots that are shaped like screws placed inside the bone of the jaw. Then, a crown that matches teeth nearby is positioned on top of the dental implant.

Frequently, bone grafting is needed to offer a solid enough base for the implant. In 2016 research of almost 800 patients who received dental implants, over 50% of the dental implant sites needed bone grafting done first.

How is this procedure done?

Here is how a bone graft is performed at Pacific Northwest Prosthodontics:

  1. You will be administered anesthetics before the process is started, and all vital signs are observed throughout.
  2. The technician cleans the affected space.
  3. The surgeon makes an incision inside the gum that separates it from bone in which the graft will be placed.
  4. Surgeon places the material between the parts of bone that must grow together.
  5. Bone graft gets secured using a membrane or using special screws or dissolvable adhesive material.
  6. Then, the incision is sewn up to start healing.

There are 3 kinds of procedures for bone grafts. Each is helpful for various circumstances that affect the jaw.

Socket graft

Bone graft is performed at the same time the tooth is removed to avoid bone loss that may otherwise happen when the tooth is extracted.

Sinus lift

Once loss of bone has happened near your upper molars, enabling your sinuses to move down, the graft is performed to restore top jaw stability as the sinuses also are positioned back to their correct placement.

Block bone graft

Typically, bone is removed from the back of your jawbone, close to the wisdom teeth (or where the wisdom teeth were, at one time).

Generally, it’s done in instances in which there has been substantial bone loss toward the front of your jaw.


Grafts are performed to assist in the prevention of long-term oral issues related to gum disease and tooth loss, in addition to providing enough bone to support implants.

Usually, this procedure is well-tolerated and safe, although there are risks of complications and side effects, as with all surgical procedures.

Following your dental professional’s advice at Pacific Northwest Prosthodontics during recovery helps minimize any chances of experiencing issues after your process and improve the opportunity of maintaining excellent oral health in the years that follow.