Bone Grafting for Implants

Do I have enough bone for dental implants?

After extraction of your tooth, the socket will spontaneously fill with bone within three months. However, the volume of bone after healing in this manner is reduced compared to when a bone graft is placed into the socket immediately after extraction. Socket grafting will preserve the width and volume of bone needed for implant placement in the near future.

An example of a jaw with an insufficient front bone structure to enable an implant

  1. Inadequate Bone

A representation of the fixed bone grafting material to enhance the bone structure

  1. Graft Material Fixed

A depiction of dental implants inserted after bone grafting

  1. Implants Fixed
An example of a jaw with inadequate front bone structure to support an implant
1. Inadequate Bone
A depiction of the placed bone grafting material to increase the bone structure
2. Graft Material Placed
A representation of dental implants placed after bone grafting
3. Implants Placed

Your extraction site may have insufficient bone for placing an implant if it was extracted several years ago and if the bony ridge is very thin. In such situations, a bone graft can be placed to increase the width and height of your thin ridge and left to heal for up to six months. After the graft has had sufficient time to heal, the site can be re-entered and an implant placed. Bone grafting is generally a routine office procedure. Several bone-grafting options are available, your bone being one of them.

A jaw with insufficient bone in the rear end of the mouth for a dental implant

  1. Lack of sufficient Bone

An example of a dental implant after including jaw structure plus bone grafting

  1. Insertion of Graft Material and Implant
A jaw lacking enough bone in the back of the mouth for a dental implant
1. Inadequate Bone
An example of a dental implant after adding jaw structure with bone grafting
2. Graft Material and Implant Placed

Bone grafting may be needed if the sinus cavities in the upper jaw are really big, or very low, and continue into the tooth-bearing areas. This usually happens when teeth in the back of the individual’s upper jaw were extracted years back, and there is a limited amount of bone present for implantation. The patient then needs a sinus grafting procedure. This is usually done as an outpatient procedure in the office under sedation. During this operation, the membrane that overlays the sinus will be identified and lifted. Bone can then be placed to return the bone to appropriate length and allow for insertion of dental implants with adequate length. This procedure often can be done simultaneously with implant placement.