Preparing For Implants: The Bone Graft Procedure

Health & Medical Blog

If you've been told that you need a bone graft in preparation for dental implants, you may wish to know more about this procedure. A bone graft is often required for dental implant patients who have experienced significant bone loss or suffered from advanced gum disease.

Adequate bone deepness and density is important in the success of dental implants. The bone grafting procedure supplements bone mass so that dental implants can be adequately anchored into a patient's jaw. 

Types of bones grafts

There are three major types of bone graft:

  • Autogenous bone grafting- This is the most common type of bone grafting practiced when preparing patients for dental implants. An autogenous bone graft involves removing bone from one part of the body—often the patient's hip—and placing it in the part of the body where increased bone mass is needed.
  • Allograft- In this bone grafting procedure, synthetic bone or bone taken from a cadaver is used to build upon the patient's bone mass. 
  • Xenograft- The xenograft procedure involves increasing bone mass using cow bone. 

The procedure

While the bone grafting procedure may involve some pain or discomfort, it should not be more painful than other common oral surgery procedures such as tooth extraction. Patients are usually prescribed pain medications to help with pain management if necessary. Some patients get through the entire process without reporting any pain or discomfort whatsoever. 

The following are the basic steps to a typical bone graft procedure:

  • The administration of anesthesia- A patient is protected from pain and discomfort during the procedure with local anesthesia and/or sedation. Anesthesia is used on a patient's gums, jaws, and teeth to keep the patient comfortable and at ease. 
  • Incision in the gum line- The dentist or oral surgeon makes an incision into the patient's gum line just above the place in the mouth where the bone graft must be placed.
  • Placement of the graft tissue- The bone graft is placed above the existing jaw bone, and it is usually kept in place through the use of an artificial membrane or screws.
  • The suturing of the incision- After the bone graft is put in place, the incision is closed up with sutures. 

Some patients may only require small bone grafts that can be performed at the time of the implantation of dental implants. Other patients may need to wait as long as nine months after the bone graft procedure for the new bone to become incorporated into the jawbone. Contact professionals, such as those found through, for a consultation.


8 January 2015

pregnancy, labor and delivery - working with a midwife

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