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Dental bone grafts have become a common procedure, especially for those looking to receive dental implants. But what exactly is a dental bone graft, and how is it performed? In this post, we’ll break down everything you need to know about dental bone grafts, including the benefits they provide, the procedure details, and what to expect during your recovery. We’ll also cover how to prepare for the surgery, as well as when to call your doctor in case of any issues. Whether you’re considering a dental bone graft or just curious about the procedure, this post has everything you need to know.

What is a Dental Bone Graft?

A dental bone graft is a surgical procedure that involves replacing lost bone in the jaw. The procedure is aimed at stimulating new bone growth and regeneration. The bone grafting material used for the process can be of four types: autografts, allografts, xenografts, and alloplasts. Autogenous bone grafts are obtained from the patient’s own bone, usually from the jaw, while allografts involve using bone from a human cadaver. The goal of a dental bone graft is to fill the jawbone in areas where bone growth has failed or is limited. The procedure involves placing material on the jawbone to enhance the healing process, which can take several months. Dental bone graft procedures are routine and safe, and they have helped many people restore bone loss and improve their oral health.

Benefits of a Bone Graft

Dental bone grafting is a unique technique that repairs and rebuilds bone structure in the jaw due to tooth loss, trauma or periodontal disease. In addition to repairing bone structure, bone grafting can also make you eligible for other restorative dental treatments such as dental implants. The human body has the natural ability to regenerate natural bone tissue entirely, given the necessary space and support.

Bone grafts can be performed using materials from the patient’s own body, a donor, animal bone or synthetic material. This allows for a wide variety of options, giving both the dentist and patient more flexibility in the procedure. Overall, the benefits of dental bone grafting go beyond repairing the jaw and can provide an array of oral health benefits.

Procedure Details

A dental bone graft is a surgical technique aimed at replacing missing bone in the jaw which may be missing due to birth defects, injuries, or gum disease. During the procedure, a dentist will make an incision near the missing bone and place bone grafting material, which will then encourage the growth of new bone tissue. Dental bone grafting may be done before adult teeth develop in the cleft area and is typically performed between the ages of 6 and 10 years old. After the surgery, the healing stages involve the healing of the gums from the incision and the growth of new bone tissue. Dental bone grafts can increase eligibility for dental implants and other restorative treatments. Healing time can differ from case to case and would depend on the complexity of the surgery. It is essential to follow the aftercare instructions provided by your dentist for a successful healing process.

How to Prepare for a Bone Graft

To prepare for a bone graft, your doctor will perform a complete medical history and physical examination to determine whether the procedure is right for you. It is also essential to notify your doctor about any medications, supplements, or over-the-counter drugs you may be taking. In some cases, you may be required to fast before surgery.

The bone graft procedure typically happens in a dentist’s or oral surgeon’s office and can take less than an hour. During the procedure, the surgeon will create a small incision and insert a piece of bone or bone-like material into the affected area. Afterward, the surgeon will stitch up the incision site and provide instructions on how to care for the area while it heals.

There are some risks associated with bone grafting, including infection, gum problems, discomfort, and the possibility of the bone graft failing to do what was intended. Therefore, it is crucial to follow post-operative instructions carefully and monitor any changes in the area. Your surgeon will provide you with specific guidelines to help reduce these risks and ensure a successful recovery.

Recovery and Outlook

Dental bone graft recovery and outlook depend on various factors, including the type of graft, the location where it was placed, the patient’s health, and the body’s healing capacity. Recovery time varies from person to person, with some experiencing a shorter duration, and others a longer one. A healthy diet and avoiding smoking are essential for faster healing.

Dental bone grafting is a beneficial procedure that regains bone volume in the jawbone and allows for restorative options like dental implants. However, healing from a dental bone graft can take between three and nine months or longer. Regular dental check-ups are needed to ensure that the healing process is going smoothly. Talk to your dentist about your recovery goals and treatment options that suit your specific dental needs.

When to Call the Doctor

While bone grafting is a common dental procedure, it is important to understand when to call your doctor following the procedure. Experiencing severe pain or bleeding that does not subside is a cause for concern, and should prompt you to call your doctor immediately. Another red flag is a delay in the development of adult teeth in the cleft area, which warrants a call to the cleft team to schedule a CBCT scan. If the bone grafting material does not integrate with the natural bone, it is important to contact your doctor. Infection or inflammation is also a concern that requires prompt medical attention. If there is no improvement in the condition after a few weeks of the bone graft, call your dentist for re-evaluation. Understanding when to call your doctor can help prevent complications and ensure a successful bone grafting procedure.


In conclusion, a dental bone graft is a procedure that aims to rebuild or replace bone in your jaw. It is a safe and effective way to enhance your oral health by providing support for your teeth, implants, or bridges. By restoring the bone density in your jaw, it helps give your smile the strength and stability it needs. The procedure may entail a few visits to the dentist and some time to recover, but it is well worth it for the long-term advantage of long-lasting dental health. If you are thinking about getting a bone graft, consult with your dentist to learn more and schedule an appointment with us DFW Oral Surgeons today.