Best Oral Surgeon in Johns Creek

10700 Medlock Bridge Rd. #204, Johns Creek GA, 30097  Tel: 770-764-0840

What is a Dental Bone Graft?

What exactly is a dental bone graft?

A dental bone graft aims to restore both volume and density to areas of the jaw where bone loss has occurred. This procedure utilizes bone graft material sourced either from the patient’s own body (autogenous), human tissue banks (allografts), animal tissue banks (xenografts), or synthetic sources (alloplasts).

How does a dental bone graft function?

Following placement, the bone graft acts as a scaffold, facilitating the body’s natural repair processes. Essentially, it provides a framework upon which the patient’s bone tissue can regenerate and grow. In some cases, dental professionals may incorporate platelet-rich plasma (PRP), obtained from the patient’s blood, to enhance healing and tissue regeneration.

Who typically requires a dental bone graft?

Individuals experiencing jawbone loss often necessitate a dental bone graft. This procedure may be recommended for those undergoing tooth extraction, seeking dental implants to replace missing teeth, requiring jaw reconstruction prior to denture placement, or dealing with bone loss due to gum (periodontal) disease.

How prevalent are dental bone grafts?

Dental bone grafts are highly commonplace, frequently performed by both general dentists and specialists such as periodontists or oral surgeons.

Are there different categories of bone grafts?

Yes, dental bone grafts can generally be classified into four main types:

  • Socket preservation: Also known as ridge preservation, this graft is placed immediately after tooth extraction to prevent the collapse of the socket.
  • Ridge augmentation: This type enhances the width and volume of the jawbone, particularly in cases where teeth have been missing for an extended period.
  • Sinus lift: Addressing issues with the maxillary sinuses, this procedure involves lifting the sinus membrane and placing a bone graft beneath to create a stable foundation for dental implants.
  • Periodontal bone graft: Targeting bone loss caused by gum disease, this graft is placed around existing teeth to provide support and reduce mobility.

In most instances, complete healing of the bone graft is necessary before proceeding with dental implant placement. However, recovery times vary depending on individual circumstances.

Procedure Breakdown

What occurs prior to dental bone graft placement?

Before the procedure, a thorough oral examination and imaging scans are conducted to assess the patient’s oral health and extent of bone loss. Based on these findings, a personalized treatment plan is developed in consultation with the patient.

What takes place during dental bone graft surgery?

Initially, the area is numbed with local anesthesia, followed by a small incision in the gums to expose the jawbone. After preparing the site, the bone graft material is added to address the bone defect, often accompanied by a membrane for protection. Finally, the gums are repositioned and stitched closed.

What is the post-operative phase like for a dental bone graft?

Following the procedure, patients may experience some pain, swelling, and bruising, which typically subside within a few days and can be managed with pain medication and antibiotics if prescribed. Additionally, small bone fragments may be noticed during the initial healing period, resembling grains of salt or sand.

Addressing Concerns

Is a dental bone graft painful?

Most individuals report minimal discomfort following a dental bone graft, particularly when following post-operative instructions and taking prescribed medications as directed.

Is anesthesia required for a dental bone graft?

Typically, local anesthesia is sufficient for bone graft placement, though sedation options such as nitrous oxide, oral sedation, or IV sedation may be available for patient comfort. In more complex cases, general anesthesia might be recommended.

Can dental bone grafts fail?

While dental bone grafts generally boast high success rates, there is a risk of failure, especially among smokers or individuals with certain medical conditions. Signs of graft failure include persistent pain or swelling, pus at the graft site, gum recession, or lack of improvement in jawbone volume.

Outlook and Recovery

How long does it take to recover from a dental bone graft?

Although patients may feel back to normal within a week or two, complete healing of the bone graft can take several months or longer, depending on factors like graft type and individual healing capacity.

When can patients resume normal activities?

In most cases, individuals can return to work or school the day after the procedure, with additional recovery time required if sedation was administered.

Monitoring Healing

What are the stages of dental bone graft healing?

The healing process varies from person to person, with dentists monitoring progress to determine when the new bone is sufficiently strong to support dental implants or other restorative treatments.

When to Seek Medical Attention

When should patients contact their oral surgeon?

Patients should promptly contact their dentist if they experience severe pain, increased swelling, pus around the graft site, or a fever above 101°F following a dental bone graft procedure.


In conclusion, dental bone grafts play a crucial role in restoring jawbone integrity and eligibility for various dental treatments. If jawbone deterioration is suspected, seeking dental intervention can significantly improve oral health, function, and overall quality of life.

Click HERE to learn more or call 770-764-0840 to see if you are a candidate for bone grafting.