Bone Grafting For Dental Implants

Bone grafting is a common procedure used to enhance the success rate of dental implant procedures. The goal of bone grafting is to increase the amount of available bone in the jaw, which can be used to anchor a dental implant securely.

Is Bone Grafting Necessary for Dental Implants?

A bone graft is not a requirement with all dental implant surgeries. 

For dental implants to be successful, there must be enough healthy jawbone to support the implant. If a patient has been missing teeth for an extended period or has suffered from gum disease, the jawbone may have deteriorated, leaving insufficient bone for an implant.

There are several reasons why a person may need bone grafting for a dental implant.

  1. Insufficient Bone Density: If the jawbone is too thin or lacks density, it may not be able to support an implant.
  2. Tooth Loss: When a tooth is lost, the bone that previously supported it can start to deteriorate. This can cause a reduction in bone density and make it difficult to place an implant.
  3. Gum Disease: Advanced gum disease can cause the jawbone to deteriorate and lead to a loss of bone density.
  4. Trauma: Trauma to the jaw or face can cause bone loss and make it difficult to place an implant.
  5. Sinus Issues: In some cases, the sinus cavity may be too close to the upper jawbone, leaving insufficient space for implant placement. A sinus graft would be necessary in this case.
An example of a jaw with inadequate front bone structure to support an implant
1. Inadequate Bone
A depiction of the placed bone grafting material to increase the bone structure
2. Graft Material Placed
A representation of dental implants placed after bone grafting
3. Implants Placed


Our dental surgeons will determine if you have enough bone for implants through a dental examination and imaging, such as a cone beam CT scan or x-ray. We will evaluate the amount and quality of your existing jawbone to determine if it is strong enough to support dental implants.

Following a tooth extraction, the socket’s walls typically fill up with bone naturally within two to three months, provided that they are thick enough. However, when the socket walls are thin, particularly in the case of upper and lower front teeth, the healing process may not be as reliable. In such cases, a bone graft may be necessary during the extraction procedure to help your body fill in the empty socket with bone. This approach will help to preserve the bone’s width and volume, which is essential for successful implant placement several months later.

A jaw lacking enough bone in the back of the mouth for a dental implant
1. Inadequate Bone
An example of a dental implant after adding jaw structure with bone grafting
2. Graft Material and Implant Placed

How Does a Bone Graft Work?

During the bone grafting procedure, our oral surgeon will create a small incision in the gums and place bone material into the area where the implant will be inserted. Various bone-grafting materials are available, including those derived from your own bone, to ensure a comfortable experience. The graft material will act as a framework for new bone growth, encouraging the body to generate new bone tissue in that area.

After the bone grafting procedure, the patient will need to wait several months for the new bone tissue to grow and integrate with the existing bone. This process is called osseointegration and is crucial for the long-term success of the dental implant.Once the bone graft has healed, the dental surgeon will place the implant post into the newly grafted bone. The implant post will fuse with the new bone tissue over time, providing a stable foundation for the implant crown or bridge.

How Long Does Bone Grafting Take?

The healing time can vary depending on the individual case and the type of graft used. In general, bone grafting for dental implants can take 3-6 months.

The length of time required depends on the individual’s age, overall health, and the extent of the bone graft. For example, a patient who undergoes a small bone graft may require only three to four months for the bone to heal and integrate, while a patient who undergoes a larger graft may require six months or more.

Book an Appointment

You can schedule an appointment online or over the phone. 

Schedule an Appointment