Why Do Some Dental Procedures Need Bone Grafting?

When you go for a major dental procedure, your dentist will examine your jaw to ensure it’s perfect for the procedure. If your jawbone doesn’t have enough density and mass, your dentist will advise you to go for a bone graft. Why do some dental procedures need bone grafting?

What is a Dental Bone Graft?

A dental bone graft refers to the bone tissue implanted into your jawbone to add bone mass and density. This bone tissue may be harvested from a human or animal donor or manufactured in a lab. A bone graft obtained from another part of your body is an autogenous graft, while a graft obtained from a human donor is known as an allograft. A bone graft obtained from an animal donor is known as a xenograft.

Why Do You Need a Dental Bone Graft?

Many situations warrant a dental bone graft. Here are the main reasons why a dental bone graft may be necessary.

Fitting Dental Implants
Your dentist may advise you to have a bone graft before getting the implant. This bone graft is meant to provide a strong base for your implants. According to studies, almost 50 percent of patients require bone grafting for dental implants. Without enough base, they will become loose and fall off.

Severe Gum Disease
If you’ve lost your teeth due to severe gum disease, your doctor may recommend bone grafting before getting dental implants, significantly if the disease has affected your jawbone. In this case, your doctor may have to surgically remove the affected portions of your jawbone and restore the lost bone mass through grafting.

Bone Loss
If you take long to replace your missing teeth, your jawbone will lack the necessary stimulation to regenerate itself. Consequently, it will shrink. This condition is prevalent in elderly people who have stayed for a long time with missing teeth. In such a situation, a bone graft is necessary.

Is a Bone Graft Always Necessary with Dental Implants?

Dental implants are the most preferred teeth replacement option in the world today because of their permanency and the ability to restore a patient’s natural smile and appearance. However, implants require a firm foundation of enough bone mass. This means that you have to have sufficient jawbone to support the implants and allow successful osseointegration at the surgical site.

Therefore, do not be surprised when your dentist tells you that you do not have sufficient bone to support your dental implants. Fortunately, dentists have discovered a way to increase the bone mass at the implant site through bone grafting. Continue reading to know if a bone graft is always necessary with dental implants.

What Is Bone Grafting

Bone grafting is a surgical procedure designed to repair and rebuild bones by transferring bone tissue from one part of the bone to another or a donor. Bone grafting for dental implants involves harvesting bone tissue from other parts of a patient’s body and transplanting it at the implant site to add volume. The transplanted bone tissue has to be healthy to promote growth and fully support the dental implants.

Do All Dental Implants Require Bone Grafting?

Some people are hesitant to replace their missing teeth with dental implants for fear of undergoing bone grafting. But the truth is that not all dental implants require bone grafting. Your dentist will analyze your jawbone to determine if a bone graft is necessary. Nevertheless, several conditions might require bone grafting.

Significant Bone Loss

If you delay replacing the missing teeth for a long time, your jawbone will shrink or collapse due to lack of stimulation. Just like muscles, bones also require regular stimulation to remain strong and healthy. This stimulation happens when you use your teeth to bite or chew food. Luckily, dental implants offer the same amount of stimulation as natural teeth. So, if your jawbone has deteriorated over time, bone grafting might be necessary.

Advanced Gum Diseases and Injuries

If you have suffered severe gum diseases or injuries, they will make your jawbone weak and unstable. Therefore, you will need a bone graft to recreate mass and strengthen your jawbone before placing dental implants.


Some parts of your jaw are more likely to have insufficient bone tissue than others, for instance, near the bottom of the upper sinus, which is hollow. So, the surrounding bone tissue may not be dense enough to support a dental implant.

Remember that only your dentist or oral surgeon can determine if a bone graft is necessary. Therefore, choose your oral surgeon wisely.