Bone Grafts and Dental Implants

Dental implants involve a number of steps. For some patients, bone grafting may be necessary in order to maximize the success of their dental implant surgery.

Implants and Bone Grafting.
A permanent fix for missing teeth.

Dental implants involve several steps. For some patients, bone grafting may be necessary to maximize the success of their dental implant surgery. While it might sound intimidating, bone grafting is now a relatively routine procedure, and it is not as complex or “surgical” as it sounds.


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Why Bone Grafts are Needed

Some patients may not have healthy enough, natural bone to support their new dental implants. Because a surgeon needs at least 1mm of bone around the gums to apply the implant and 2 to 3mm when the implant is placed next to a natural tooth or another implant, bone grafts are very common for patients receiving implants. Individuals opting for dental implants because of previous tooth decay are often the patients that require grafts first. Other reasons a patient may need bone grafts before receiving their implants include:

  • Gum disease
  • Development defects of the tooth
  • Denture damage
  • Spaces that have been left from removed teeth
  • Injury to the face or mouth

The Types of Bone Grafts

Bone grafts are used to increase the volume of bone available in the jaw. The procedure is done a while before dental implants to ensure the bone can heal and solidify. Healing times will vary depending on the amount of bone used and the patient’s health. For implants, there are four types of grafts used:

  1. Autograft – Bone used from your body
  2. Allograft – Bone used from a genetically similar organism
  3. Xenograft – Bone used from a dissimilar organism
  4. Synthetic – Bone used from biocompatible material

Does It Hurt?

The pain from a bone graft is not severe. You may experience similar discomfort and minor pain to any other oral procedure. You can manage the pain and swelling with prescribed pain medications and anti-inflammatory medications. Most patients only feel minor pain and discomfort for 24 to 48 hours. Bone grafts may be a necessary step in a successful dental implant procedure for you. With proper dental care, you will have implants that can last for the rest of your life and give you back a smile you have always wanted.

The nerves underneath your teeth can sometimes become infected. When they do, you may require a root canal treatment to help preserve the tooth and alleviate the pain. By keeping your tooth, you can also prevent further issues with drifting teeth or jaw problems – and of course, the hassle of putting in an artificial tooth.

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