Bone Grafting Surgery: Building Up the Jawbone

January 16, 2018 — by Kenneth W. Coffey, DDS
Tags: Oral Surgery Bone Grafting Dental Implants

Bone loss and grafting surgery optionsBone grafting refers to a surgical procedure in which the density of the jawbone is increased by placing additional hard tissue where the bone is lacking. Following the surgery, the additional hard tissue and the jawbone heal and merge together, resulting in greater tissue density in that part of the jaw.

Sometimes when people come to our Orland Park, IL practice for dental implants, we’ll first recommend the patient have bone grafts placed. Let’s take a moment to explore why this might be necessary.

Bone Grating, Bone Loss, and Dental Implants

In order for dental implants to be anchored securely in place, it’s important for there to be sufficient bone structure in place. However, some people may have experienced bone loss after they have lost a tooth.

After losing a tooth, it’s possible to lose bone structure around the tooth gap since the jawbone no longer has a root structure to support. The amount of bone tissue that’s lost can be severe, particularly if a person is missing multiple teeth or lost their tooth years ago.

Ultimately, bone grafting surgery makes dental implants possible for people who have lost bone density.

Good Candidates for Bone Grafting

Good candidates for bone grafting surgery are people who have lost density in the jawbone but would like to get dental implants placed. They should be in good health and not face any medical risks by undergoing oral surgery.

Bone grafting can add to the total cost of dental implants treatment, so it’s important that patients have realistic expectations about the expense of the procedure as well as the healing and recovery process.

There are different types of bone grafts that can be used.


Autografts are bone grafts taken from the patient. Typically that means bone from another part of the jaw, though bone taken from the hip or shin can be used as well.


Allografts are bone grafts taken from other people to be used in a patient. While an allograft can be taken from a cadaver, it’s more common for an allograft to be received from a bone bank.


Also known as alloplastic grafts, alloplasts are synthetic bone grafts. These materials vary in type, but they are not human or animal in origin.

Recovering from Bone Grafting Surgery

Following a bone grafting procedure, patients will need to wait for the graft and the jawbone to heal and merge. This creates a sturdy base for a dental implant to be placed. This can take a few months. Patients will be give post-op instructions to ensure proper healing and a low risk of infection and other complications.

When Can the Dental Implants Process Proceed?

The dental implants process can resume only when the bone grafts have fully healed. Proceeding with the implant dentistry process too soon might increase the risk of implant failure. Being prudent is always the best option when it comes to these sorts of procedures.

Learn More About Bone Grafting

To learn more about bone grafting and whether or not it’s an ideal option for you and your needs, be sure to contact an experienced cosmetic and restorative dentist. We look forward to your visit and discussing these matters in much greater detail.

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