Bone Graft for Dental Implant: When and How Do You Need it Done?

Jul 26, 2022 | Uncategorized

Bone Graft for Dental Implant

Restorative dentistry refers to the practice of replacing missing or damaged teeth including dental implants. Often, these procedures are straightforward but occasionally patients may require bone grafts before they are able to get a dental implant or undergo other restorative dental procedures. This is typically required if the jawbone is too weak for the dental implant to be placed. Although it might sound frightening and painful, it doesn’t have to be and in the long run  it’s well worth it.

Below we will review bone grafting procedure, different types of dental bone grafts, potential complications, recovery, and more.

What is a Dental Bone Graft?

A dental bone graft is used in conjunction with restorative dentistry procedures to add some bulk to the jawbone before the placement of dental implants. Significant trauma to the jawbone, serious gum disease, or an extended period of time without teeth, can reduce stimulation from the tooth root, causing the jawbone to lose density and deteriorate. When this occurs, a bone graft will be necessary prior to placing the implant.

This procedure involves taking bone from another area in your body or from a tissue bank and adding it to your jawbone to build it up.

3 Types of Materials for Dental Bone Grafts

When it comes to dental bone grafts, there are many types of materials that are used. In general, they can be divided into 3 categories:


This is bone that has been harvested from a cadaver or from a human donor for medical procedures.


This is bone that has been taken from elsewhere in the patient’s body.


This material is made of calcium carbonate or hydroxyapatite, which are both naturally occurring minerals.

There are some other materials that are used in dental bone grafts, such as synthetic materials and bone tissues taken from animals. One of the factors that go into determining the cost of the procedure is the materials that are used.

Bone Graft Surgery

In addition to the materials used, bone grafts are classified according to major or minor surgery. Dental bone grafts are typically highly invasive and labeled as major surgery depending on the severity of the bone loss or gum disease. The condition of your jawbone will determine the type you will need. In most cases, dental bone graft surgery takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Tooth Extraction Bone Graft

In some cases, patients require tooth extraction bone graft prior to placement of dental implants. This is especially true if you have untreated gum disease that has affected your natural teeth to the point that you require extraction and dental implants. Of course, it’s important to understand that not all patients require bone graft surgery prior to getting dental implants.

Bone grafts for dental implants are common, however in another instance, a bone graft may be recommended by your dental professional to treat the periodontal disease that has gone down to the jawbone.

Other Types of Dental Graft Procedures

There are three other types of dental graft procedures:

Socket Graft

If the surrounding bone is weak and at risk for decay after tooth extraction, you may require a bone graft. This is known as a socket graft. This is because, following extraction, the body will absorb the bone unless it’s replaced with an implant or a bone graft. This graft is made with natural bone and is added to the space that is left after the tooth is removed. It usually takes about 6 months to heal before implant placement.

Block Bone Graft

A block bone graft is a type of bone graft following tooth extraction that is required if a socket graft isn’t immediately done. Other causes of severe bone loss requiring a block bone graft include serious gum disease, trauma, and injury. In this procedure, a small piece of bone tissue is taken from another area of the jawbone and secured to the area with screws. It takes several months to heal from this procedure and once healed, you will be ready for your dental implants.

Sinus Lift & Bone Graft

A sinus lift is dental procedure that is sometimes used in conjunction with a bone graft for dental implants. If you don’t have enough bone in your upper jaw, dental implants may interfere with your sinus cavity. In this procedure, the oral surgeon will lift the sinus cavity prior to placing the bone graft below. After about four months, dental implants can be placed without the risk of damaging the sinuses.

Average Cost for Dental Bone Graft

The cost of a single dental bone graft may range from around $2000 to $3,500, depending on the materials used. This does not include the cost of dental implants and does not factor in insurance coverage.

Complications Associated with Dental Bone Grafts

When you visit the dentist for your consultation prior to your bone graft, it’s important to make sure you understand the potential complications, which include:


In this case, your body rejects the donor grafts, pushing it out instead of allowing it to fuse with the existing bone because it sees it as a foreign body or a threat.


There is a high risk of infection if the procedure is done in an environment that is contaminated or if the patient does not follow appropriate aftercare as instructed by the dental professional.

Recovery after Dental Bone Graft

Typically, dental bone grafting is an outpatient procedure, which means you will not be required to stay in the hospital. The dentist will do the surgery in the office, and you will be sent home to recover. However, you will need to allow yourself significant time to recover.


Bone graft is a procedure that is used in conjunction with restorative dental procedures to bulk up the jawbone- especially prior to dental implants. The process involves taking bone from elsewhere in the patient’s body, a tissue bank or synthetic material, and placing it in the jawbone to fuse with the existing bone. There are several types of bone grafts, each with its own purpose and recovery time. It typically takes about 6 months to fully recover and depends on the severity of the procedure.

You may experience bleeding and swelling, but your dental professional will provide you with aftercare instructions to help encourage healing and reduce your risk of infection. Of course, all surgical procedures include the risk of complications, including infection and risk of rejection.

The average cost of a dental bone graft is between $200 to $3,000- depending on several factors, including the type of material you use. This could change based on insurance coverage.