surgical procedure that entails using transplanted bone to repair or rebuild damaged bones.

Hawthorne Dental Implants – (Dental Implant) Bone Grafting

Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that entails using transplanted bone to repair or rebuild damaged bones. A bone graft comes in handy in repairing bones anywhere the body, including the jawbone. When conducting bone grafting, your dental surgeon can take a bone from any part of the body and use it to perform a graft. At times, surgeons use bone tissues donated from cadavers. You may require undergoing bone grafting before the placement of dental implants. You can only be a good candidate for dental implants if you have sufficient bone volume. An inadequate bone volume could compromise the long-term success of the implants. Hawthorne Dental Implants provides reliable bone grafting services to prepare patients for dental implants.

Understanding Bone Grafting in Dentistry

A bone graft is an oral surgical procedure, which is necessary if your jawbone is not thick or dense enough. While performing this procedure, a dental surgeon removes a piece of bone from your jaw or from another part of your body. For the best results, it is advisable to source the bone material from your own body. However, if need be, a dental surgeon can use artificial bone material or obtain the graft material from a tissue bank.

After placing the bone graft, your jawbone grows and fuses with the grafted bone tissue. This helps to form a stronger and more stable foundation for dental implants. You would be a good candidate for a bone graft if your jawbone is not sufficient to hold a dental implant or other forms of dental treatments.

Typically, the jawbone begins to deteriorate after a tooth extraction or tooth loss. The jawbone begins to deteriorate or resorb at the site of tooth loss. Before placing a dental implant, your dentist has to correct this resorption. Other than in implant surgery, a bone graft could also be important while conducting certain types of periodontal therapy especially after bone loss due to periodontal disease.

When conducting bone grafting, your dental surgeon will make an incision in your gum and transplant the bone graft material into the jawbone.

Types of Bone Grafts

Your dental surgeon can use several types of bone grafts to restore your jawbone. Some of the common types of bone grafts are:


Also known as autogenous or autologous grafting, this form of bone grafting entails harvesting bone grafts from other parts of the body. For instance, a dental surgeon could obtain grafts from your hip or chin. These types of bone grafts are the most effective because they contain your own living cells, which helps promote natural bone growth.

Surgeons usually harvest bone grafts from nonessential bones include anterior mandibular ramus, mandibular symphysis, or iliac crest. Especially if block graft is necessary, autogenous bone graft is the most ideal. By sourcing the bone graft from your body, there will be a lower risk for graft rejection. A bone graft sourced from your body is osteoconductive, osteoinductive, and osteogenic. However, the disadvantage of an autologous graft is that it requires an additional surgical site. Therefore, you will have another site for postoperative complications and pain.

At the transplanted site, bones require an ample supply of blood. Therefore, an additional blood supply could be necessary depending on the size of the graft and the transplant size. When making this type of bone graft, the dental surgeon may have to obtain accompanying blood vessels and a part of the periosteum together with the bone graft. This type of bone graft is known as a free flap graft.


Just like Autografts, allografts are obtained from humans, but not from your body. Your dentist could collect allografts from tissue banks. Usually, allografts are obtained from cadavers that have donated their bone for used among living people who may require it. A surgeon can obtain three types of allografts from a bone graft: FDBA, DFDBA, and Fresh, or fresh-frozen allograft.

Before placing an allograft into your jawbone, your surgeon may require to sterilize and deactivate the proteins found in a healthy bone.


These are bone grafts obtained or harvested from other species other than humans, mainly from bovine donors.

Synthetic Grafts

Synthetic bone grafts consist of artificial or synthetic bone material that contains calcium phosphates. There are several types of synthetic bone grafts including alloplastic grafts. Alloplastic grafts consist of hydroxyapatite, which is a naturally occurring mineral. This mineral is similar to the mineral that forms the main component of the bone. Due to its acceptability by bone, hardness, and osteoconduction, this synthetic bone graft is the most commonly used.

Some synthetic bone grafts consist of calcium carbonate. However, these are not ideal because calcium carbonate is completely resorbable within a short period and this enhances bone breakage. Tricalcium phosphate in conjunction with hydroxyapatite comes in handy in making synthetic bone grafts. This combination is ideal because of its optimal resorbability and osteoconduction.

Determining if you need a Bone Graft

When you first visit your dentist seeking dental implants, he/she will carefully examine your jaws and the other teeth to determine the best treatment procedure. The dentist may require advanced procedures to be able to make the right diagnosis. The procedures include 3-D imaging of your jaws amd a CT scan.

A CT scan allows the dentist to see all the hidden structures beneath the jawbone including the blood vessels and the nerves. This helps the dentist to determine the quality and the quantity of your jawbone. With this information, it will be easy for your dentist to decide whether you need to undergo bone grafting before getting dental implants.

You will require bone graft to restore the bone in areas where it is inadequate.  A bone graft ensures that there is ample bone to hold the dental implants in place. If your natural teeth were removed in the past, you could have suffered bone loss over time. If you had gum disease or periodontal disease, you could have suffered immense bone loss.

Most people are not aware that removal of natural teeth affects the jawbone. At times, some areas on the jawbone might be naturally thinner and unable to support dental implants. For instance, the areas close to the sinus cavities tend to have thinner jawbone. If you require tooth replacement in the sinus area, chances are that you will require a sinus lift. This entails lifting the area the membrane that separates the sinus cavity and the jawbone. A sinus lift helps to create an additional room for the placement of the bone graft.

In most instances, dentist conduct bone grafting alongside gum surgery to help restore missing bone and also revive gum tissue, which could suffered damage due to periodontal disease. Restoring lost bone offers an additional benefit above ensuring that implant treatment is more successful. It ensures that the teeth supported by implant are more aesthetically pleasing. A bone graft helps to support the gum tissue that surrounds the dental implants helping to create a lovely appearance.

Preparing for a Bone Graft

You should talk with your dentist, who can help you to prepare for a bone graft surgery. Ensure that you reveal any relevant information to the dentist including whether you suffer from any forms of allergies. You should also disclose whether you are on certain medication like bone thinners.

If you smoke cigarettes, it is advisable to stop smoking before the bone grafting procedure takes place. If you have experienced recent symptoms like fevers, ensure that you inform the dentist about it.

The Cost of Bone Grafting

The cost of bone grafting will vary depending on several factors. The factors include the source of bone graft and the amount of bone required for the procedure. The cost will also depend on whether the dentist who attends to you is a specialist.

A general dentist could perform the bone grafting procedure and place dental implants. However, in complex cases, you may require the services of a specialist. You could need specialists like oral surgeons, prosthodontist, and periodontist. A specialist dentist is more costly than a general dentist; however, it is always good to work with a specialist.

The cost of a bone graft could range between $200 and $1,200. This cost range applies if the dentist will acquire the bone graft from a donor, an animal, or synthetic sources. However, if the dentist decides to obtain the bone from your body, the costs could be slightly higher. This is because, by obtaining the bone graft from your body, the dentist will have to conduct two surgeries.

Extension of Treatment Time by Bone Grafting

Over the past decade, dental bone grafting techniques have continued to evolve. The bone grafting surgical procedure is essential because it makes people with deficient jawbone qualify for dental implants. Unlike in the past when patients lacking sufficient jawbone could not benefit from bone grafting, it is now possible for almost any person to enjoy dental implants. However, most people often wonder whether bone grafts extend the treatment time.

The treatment time will depend on the extent of jaw restoration required. If you have not suffered extensive jaw loss and you only require a small amount of bone grafting material, you can have the dentist place the graft at the same time with dental implant. Alternatively, your dentist could place a bone graft if to an empty tooth socket after removing a tooth.

However, in most cases, it is necessary to place the bone graft before placing the implant. After placing the bone graft, the dentist gives the graft three to six months to heal and integrate with your jawbone. If this is the case, you should expect a slightly longer treatment period for dental implants.

However, even if it extends the treatment time, bone grafting is worth it.  You should not let the waiting period after placement of bone graft to put you off. It is important to give the jawbone ample time to regenerate before the dentist finally places the dental implant.  With proper bone grafting, your dental implants will have a solid support. This will ensure that the implants will be able to last you for years.

What to Expect

Most people find the idea of bone grafting to be alarming; therefore, it is normal to feel anxious if you are scheduled to undergo a bone grafting. However, if you have the right information regarding the procedure, you will understand that there is no need to fear.

Usually, dentists are always willing to explain dental procedures to the patients. If you are extremely nervous, you could discuss additional sedation including intravenous sedation. With proper sedation, you will not experience any discomfort during the bone grafting procedure, which is a surgical procedure. You can comfortably relax in the dental chair as the dentist performs the bone grafting.

A bone graft dental procedure could take between 45 and 90 minutes. The procedure takes place at a dental office and the recovery period is around two weeks. However, you have to wait until the graft fuses into the jawbone and for solid bone mass to grow. You might have to wait between 3 and 6 months until you get the implants. In some cases, you might have to wait longer especially if your dentist conducts an additional procedure like a sinus lift. You might also have to wait longer if you had suffered extensive bone deficiency.

After Bone Grafting

After a tooth extraction, the sockets would be open and bleeding is common. However, after bone grafting, your dentist will close the sockets by covering them with a layer of adhesive. Therefore,  you are not likely to experience excessive bleeding after bone grafting. However, it is normal to experience minimal oozing.  After the procedure, it is advisable to avoid removing the adhesive. You should leave the adhesive on for seven to ten days. This will help hasten the healing process for the tissues beneath the adhesive layers.

Ensure that you do not disturb the surgical site with your tongue movements or while eating. For the first week after bone grafting, you should maintain a soft non-chew diet. Ensure that you do not chew with the side that has the surgical site. You should also avoid drinking on a straw; the suction created by the straw could disturb the surgical site and slow the healing process. Avoid touching or moving the adhesive layer using your tongue because this could disturb the surgical site and displace the protective layer.

  • Swelling at the Grafting Site

After undergoing bone grafting, it is normal to experience swelling at the surgical site and a on the adjacent facial tissues. It is also common for some people to experience bruising on the neck and the face. Extensive swelling should occur within 24 hours after the surgery. The swelling will slowly fade over the following five to seven days. You could place ice packs over the affected areas to help reduce the swelling. You do not have to sleep with the ice pack on. After the first 24 hours, it might not be necessary to continue applying the cold compress on the swollen areas.

You might feel a bit uncomfortable while sleeping at night. It is advisable to use some extra pillows while sleeping. Using extra pillows will help to reduce swelling by decreasing the flow of blood to the head and the neck region.

  • Discomfort

After undergoing bone grafting, it is normal to experience some level of discomfort as the anesthesia wears off. Often, dentists recommend pain medication to their patients to help manage any form of discomfort likely to occur. Ensure that you follow the dentist’s prescription by taking the medication as guided. This will help to alleviate any form of discomfort and pain. At times, medication could make you drowsy; therefore, you should avoid driving or operating machinery while on medication.

  • Infection

There is always a likelihood of developing an infection after undergoing a surgical procedure. However, in most cases of bone grafting, infection does not occur. To reduce the chances of developing an infection, the dentist may recommend some antibiotics. Ensure that you take the medication as directed until you complete the entire dosage.

If you are a woman on oral contraceptives, it is important to note that taking antibiotics like penicillin could reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptive drugs. Therefore, while you are on antibiotics, you should consider other forms of contraception.

  • Maintaining Oral Hygiene

After tooth extraction and placement of a bone graft, it is okay to brush your teeth. However, ensure that you do not touch the surgical site to avoid tampering with the healing process. You can only clean the surgical site after four to five days. However, even at this time, you should ensure that you clean the area gently. During the first days after surgery, you can use water, or salt water to clean the surgical site. Ensure that while cleaning your mouth with salt water, you do not rinse forcefully because this could remove the blood clot and dislodge the adhesive layer.

During the healing period, it is advisable to avoid smoking. Smoking often slows down the healing process for oral wounds.

When to Contact a Dentist

During the healing process after bone grafting, you should look out warning signs and contact your dentist immediately you notice any of the signs. Some of the warning signs that require immediate medical attention are:

  • Uncontrolled or excessive bleeding at the surgical site, which does not stop even if you bite on the gauze for twenty to thirty minutes
  • Excessive pain, which does not subside even if you take the right doses of painkillers; you should never exceed the recommended dose of painkillers. If the pain continues to persist even while on medication, seek immediate medical attention
  • Experiencing nausea and vomiting is a warning sign that calls for immediate medical attention
  • A swelling that keeps increasing even after twenty-four hours, especially if the swelling makes it hard for you to swallow
  • A discharge with a foul smell or taste, which does not stop oozing from the surgical site even after you wash and rinse your mouth several days after the surgery
  • A high fever, which exceeds 101 degrees Fahrenheit

What to Avoid

In addition to avoid operating machinery, power tools, or a car, you should also avoid some additional activities after a bone grafting surgery. Ensure that you do not take alcoholic drinks like beer until the surgical site recovers fully.  You should not engage in sporting activities like jogging, basketball, or other athletic activities. Engaging in sport could lead to unexpected injuries at the surgical site.

It is also advisable to avoid eating spicy, salty, citric, or crunchy foods after undergoing the bone grafting procedure. Do not use a mouthwash to rinse your mouth; instead, you should rinse your mouth with salt water three times a day for one week.

While the surgical site is still numb, it is advisable to ensure that you avoid hot liquids or hot foods. Instead, focus on a soft diet and avoid chewing in the surgical site.

Placement of Dental Implants

A dental implant refers to a metal post, which a dentist attaches on the jawbone to act as support for an artificial tooth. After placing a dental implant, the dentist then places replacement teeth on the implant.  Normally, dental implants have a high success rate and with proper care, the implants could last for a lifetime. You can only receive dental implants if you have adequate jawbone mass. However, after undergoing bone grafting, you can become a good candidate for dental implants.

Other than being permanent, dental implants offer additional benefits over other teeth replacement options. The implants are permanent; the implants hold the replacement teeth in place making them appear like your natural teeth. You do not have to remove the replacement teeth while eating. Implants ensure that the replacement teeth are intact; you don’t have to worry about the teeth falling off.

You do not have to undergo bone grafting before getting dental implants. If you do not have adequate jawbone mass, the dentist may recommend mini implants. Mini implants are smaller and may not require much bone density.

Find Reliable Bone Grafting Services near me

If you desire to get dental implants but you have suffered jawbone loss, you should consider undergoing bone grafting. To get the best out of bone grafting, you should only work with an experienced dentist.  Hawthorne Dental Implants can provide the best bone grafting services to enhance the regeneration of your jawbone. Contact us at 310-878-0911and speak to a competent dentist.

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