Dental Implant

Bone Grafting Methods in Implant Dentistry

Dental implant bone grafting becomes necessary for dental patients in whom the bone in the area of lost teeth has degenerated. This bone has to be augmented to make it strong enough to support dental implants. When you decide to have an implant, your dentist will carry out a CT scan or X-rays, or both, to reveal the jawbone in that area. If it is found to be thin and not sufficient enough to support an implant, the dentist would advise you to have a bone graft.

Reasons for Inadequate Bone in the Jaw

Inadequate bone could be the result of prolonged wear, ageing, an accident affecting the area or periodontal gum disease. A tooth extraction that might have been performed earlier could also result in the eroding of the jawbone. Bone grafting for a dental implant involves taking bone from some other source and grafting into the jaw area where the implant is needed. This grafted bone material actually stimulates the body to develop enough bone to accommodate the implant.

Dental Implant Bone Grafting Methods

There are three kinds of dental implant bone grafting: Autogenous, Allograft & Xenograft.

Autogenous Bone Grafting

Autogenous bone grafting is a technique where the bone is taken from another part of the patient’s body, with the common donar areas being the hip or chin. This procedure requires the intervention of an orthopedic surgeon for removing bone from the specified area, unlike other bone grafting or dental implant procedures where the dentist performs the entire procedure at his office on an outpatient basis. Once the bone has been taken from the donor area and then grafted into the area where the dental implant should be placed, the body develops new bone within three to six months.

Allograft Bone Grafting

The Allograft technique involves grafting bone mass from cadavers. This technique of bone grafting has been practiced successfully in thousands of cases for not only dental but also other medical applications without any instance of infection or transmitted disease. The safety of the Allograft procedure is further enforced by the fact that blood banks supervise such grafts. Synthetic bone is also used in this particular type of bone graft.

Xenograft Bone Grafting

In the Xenograft technique, bone is grafted from animal bones, such as cow bone. To ensure its safety and compatibility with the human body, it is processed and sterilized.

The kind of bone graft technique selected depends on the particular condition of the patient’s jaw bone and also the area where the implant is intended. Before going ahead with the plan you and your dentist will have an extensive discussion where you will be presented with all the relevant options.

The ultimate aim of any bone graft procedure for dental implant placement is to get the body to generate more bone in the particular area of the jaw. This new bone tissue must be sufficient to hold an implant.

Other Procedures Complementing Dental Bone Grafts

Sometimes other procedures such as barrier membrane insertion may be carried out simultaneously. This helps prevent tissue around the grafted bone material from filling the implant area and blocking the path of bone growth. An experienced dentist can select the right grafting method, in line with your requirements, your bone mass, your jaw’s physical stature and of course the cost. Improved gum health after the bone grafting treatment can be ensured by antibiotic mouthwashes.

The bone grafting procedure replaces the bone lost with natural or artificial substitutes. The objective of the procedure is to produce healthy bone in the jaw area so that the implants can be supported.  Dental implant bone grafting has a high success rate, though in rare cases the procedure might fail, especially in the case of people who smoke and those who have certain medical conditions.

• Meet the Author • Mark K Jub


Mark K Jub is an author who has published many articles in the areas of general dentistry, dental implantology and cosmetic dentistry. He writes on a freelance basis for Medical Island – a popular medical blog.


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