Bone Grafting

If your jawbone isn’t thick enough or is too soft, you may need bone grafting​ before you can have dental implant surgery. That’s because the powerful chewing action of your mouth exerts great pressure on your bone, and if it can’t support the implant, the surgery likely would fail. A bone graft can create a more solid base for the implant.

Bone loss is one of the most serious consequences of missing teeth. It begins as soon as a tooth is lost when the natural stimulation for bone growth created by the force of teeth chewing can no longer occur. The result can be dramatic—bone width can reduce by 25% in the first year alone after tooth loss. Since a successful dental implant requires the presence of 1 to 1.5mm of bone all around it, bone grafting becomes imperative in these situations.

Fortunately, bone loss isn’t inevitable. Bone loss after tooth loss can be prevented by immediate bone grafting, also known as a socket grafting procedure.

How Bone Grafting Works:

There are four main sources of grating materials used in dentistry:

1. Synthetic – Man-made materials usually mix calcium and phosphates 
2. Xenografts – Animal bone-derived minerals
3. Allografts – Human bone-derived minerals
4. Autogenous – Bone chips obtained from the same patient 

The source used will depend on whichever the dentist believes will work best in the patient’s situation. Donor tissue from another person or animal is thoroughly disinfected and safe for grafting.

The graft itself acts more as a scaffold for the nearby bone to grow upon; the new bone growth will eventually replace the graft material, which is made up of the minerals calcium, phosphorous, and hydroxyapatite. The dentist may also cover the graft with collagen membranes to guide the regeneration or synthetic material that acts with other biologically active molecules in the body to promote healing. These materials are eventually absorbed by the body.

You may need bone grafting if:

3 Types of Bone Grafts

  1. Socket Preservation Grafts – Bone grafts performed right after tooth extractions; used to repair and prevent loss of bone during healing.  Bone replacement material fills the void left by the tooth extraction.
  2. Onlay Grafts – Bone grafts performed long after a tooth has been lost; used to repair and regenerate thinned bone on its outside as a result of infections, missing teeth, and aging. This type of grafting uses particulate grafts and block grafts. Particulate grafts are usually reserved for small to moderate defects and the bone is added in the form of particles. Block grafts are reserved for moderate to large defects where the bone is added in the form of blocks.
  3. Sinus Augmentation Grafts – Bone grafts performed in the upper molar areas usually long after a tooth has been lost; used to repair and regenerate thinned on the inside of the sinus cavity. 

Common Questions

Why do I need bone grafting?

Dental bone grafts are also commonly used following tooth loss, gum disease, or to maintain bone structures after tooth extraction. Without healthy facial bone structures, the skin that is supported by the bones is affected and may lead to patients appearing prematurely aged. In most cases, a bone graft can help restore a patient’s bone structure to the necessary shape and give way to successful implant treatment.

Do I need to have grafting before my implant?

Bone grafts may either simultaneously accompany implant placement or may be performed six months prior to implantation. The exact sequencing of treatment varies depending on circumstances specific to your case. Major Dental Clinics uses 3D Cat Scans to evaluate the amount of residual bone and the need for bone regeneration.

What is the cost of bone grafting?

Bone grafting procedures vary greatly and depending on the clinical situation, the costs may range anywhere from $300 – $2000 per tooth site. Each bone graft is used for a specific reason, therefore it is very important to discuss treatment options with your dental specialist during your consult

What is sinus grafting and is it necessary?

A sinus grafting treatment may be necessary for patients getting upper arch implants, where a tooth has been missing for an extended period of time. Bone loss may be prevalent which causes the sinus pocket to drop, making implant placement difficult. Sinus grafting allows for the sinus wall to be lifted up so the bone can be placed for dental implants. Sinus grafting is only necessary if a patient’s sinus pockets drop too low, creating complications with implant placement on the upper arch. If you are interested in getting implants in your upper arch where a tooth has been missing for years, schedule an implant consultation to see if sinus grafting will be necessary for you.

Major Dental Clinics dental specialists are highly skilled in bone grafting procedures. They will discuss the type of grafting necessary, benefits, and risks of each procedure as it specifically pertains to you.

Patient Case- Bone Grafting

Before, work done at major dental clinics of Chicago and Milwaukee


Before, work done at major dental clinics of Chicago and Milwaukee


after Bone and sinus Grafting​


Bone grafting may be needed for a stable dental implant