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Whether it is bone loss or a damaged jawbone, a dental bone augmentation can support an implant.  

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What is a bone graft?

A bone augmentation is a surgical procedure that fixes damaged and resorbed bones. The idea is to transplant a synthetic or natural bone on the target area. The grafting material catalyzes new bone formation or growth to address specific bone problems. Dental bone augmentation also uses this efficient surgical procedure to rebuild, strengthen, or stabilize the jawbone. Can general dentists do bone grafts? Although dental bone grafts require the specialized skills of oral surgeons to reduce the risk of failed bone grafts, genaral dentists can perform basic bone augmentation procedures. It is performed by qualified oral surgeons like Toronto Smile Design's Dr. Johnson experienced in oral surgery treatments. Your oral surgeon can transplant bone grafts in the mouth to catalyze rapid bone growth around your jawbone. Dental bone augmentations can address damage due to bone loss and provide support for dental implant placements. 

Here is everything you need to know about dental bone augmentation:  

When do you need a dental bone graft? 

Aging and tooth loss are the two common causes of bone loss. A bone augmentation can repair the damage, increase bone mass, and protect overall wellbeing. Oral surgeons also perform socket grafts during tooth extractions to prevent bone loss. If you’re getting a dental implant, your Toronto oral surgeon can perform a bone augmentation before implantation. Bone grafts for dental implants provide additional support and structural stability to hold artificial roots in place. Patients with periodontal disease may also need a bone augmentation to stabilize the jaw, prevent further bone loss, and eliminate long-term health complications.

Bone resorption after teeth loss

What happens if you don’t get a bone graft? 

The bone structure defines your face’s shape. Losing bone mass in the jawbone can lead to curly lips, wrinkling, and protruding jaw. These changes can affect your appearance, functions, and oral health. You’ll need a dental bone graft to eliminate these risk factors and protect your looks and wellbeing. Without structural stability around the jawbone, your dental implant will eventually fail. Bone grafts before teeth replacement can provide support for implant placement. So, your replacement teeth will be strong enough to survive strenuous activities like chewing and grinding. 

Where do they get bone for bone augmentations?

There are four types of bone grafts, autogenous grafts, allografts, xenografts, and alloplasts. Each grafting procedure sources transplant bones from different donor sites

  • Autogenous bone grafts or autografts harvest graft bone from your body. The main donor sites for autogenous grafts include the hip, tibia, symphyseal area or the ramus of the mandible. ​

  • Oral surgeons perform allografts using natural bones from another person. This type of bone graft can also use human cadaver bones from tissue banks. 

  • Xenografts use grafting material from other species, such as cow bones. 

  • Alloplasts use synthetic materials like calcium phosphate. 

Most dental bone grafts for implant use autogenous bones because they contain living cellular elements. Natural bones enhance bone formation. Recovery after the autogenous bone graft is quicker than the other grafting procedures

Bone Loss after losing teeth

Changes with aging and after losing teeth

How much is bone graft surgery?


The costs of a dental bone augmentation vary depending on the complexity of the procedure and the donor site. If your bone augmentation procedure includes dental implant surgery, you will pay more. Bone graft surgeries that use synthetic substances or cow bones cost between $400 and $1,200. Autogenous grafts require two surgeries to harvest the bone and graft it on your jaw. This grafting procedure will cost you $2,000 or more. Most insurance providers don’t cover the costs of dental bone grafts. But if the surgical treatment is medically necessary, your insurer can cover a portion of your bone grafting costs.  

How are bone grafts for dental implants done?

If you’re missing one or several teeth, your Toronto dentist can recommend dental implants. These replacement teeth are fused to the jawbone. If your jawbone is weak or damaged due to bone loss, you’ll need a bone graft for an implant

Step 1: Consultation and examination. Your Toronto oral surgeon will use CT scans and other dental tools to examine the jawbone and potential donor sites. They’ll conduct several tests to determine whether you are a good candidate for a dental bone augmentation.  

Step 2: Anesthesia. Your oral surgeon will give local anesthesia and if needed, provide you sedation for the bone grafting surgery. You’ll be monitored by professional monitoring devices throughout the procedure.

Step 3: Tooth extraction. Bone grafts for teeth replacement and tooth extractions are conducted simultaneously. After the anesthesia, your oral surgeon will remove the damaged tooth to be replaced with an implant or if the area is edentulous, your Toronto Oral surgeon will graft the area right away,  

Step 4: Bone grafting. If it is an autogenous bone grafting procedure your oral surgeon will remove a piece of bone from the back of your jaw. If the procedure contains other types of grafting materials, there is no need for an additional surgical area for obtaining the graft material. Then, they'll make an incision to separate the gum from the bone and transplant the grafting material into the jawbone. Your dentist will secure the bone augmentation using a dissolvable membrane and close the incision with stitches. 

Healing after a dental bone graft procedure can take several months. The new bone relies on mineralization to harden. This self-healing process takes about four to six months. During this period, your dentist will schedule periodic follow-ups. CT scans can help monitor the bone healing process after bone augmentation surgery. To speed up your recovery, adhere to your dentist’s instructions. Avoid hot drinks, smoking, strenuous jaw activity, and hard foods for the first few days to allow your gums to grow back around the transplanted graft. After a few months, your jawbone will be stable enough to support the implant. You can wear braces to align the implant with your natural teeth if needed. 

What is the success rate of bone grafts?

Dental bone augmentation procedures have a high success rate. However, all surgeries come with some risks. Your age and other medical conditions like diabetes can complicate the healing process after a bone augmentation. Can a bone graft get infected? Yes, but it is rare. Graft infections usually occur due to poor oral hygiene and counterproductive habits like smoking. After your bone augmentation surgery, use a pillow to elevate your head to avoid blood pooling around the graft site. This simple strategy can reduce the risk of bleeding and blood clots. You can eliminate most of these risks by adhering to your dentist’s guidelines. 

What are the signs of a failed dental bone graft? 

Bone graft failure is uncommon when the procedure is performed by a qualified surgeon. The first sign of a failed dental bone augmentation is persistent pain after the procedure. Pain after tooth extraction and bone graft lasts only a few days. If it worsens after the procedure, visit your surgeon as soon as possible. A loosened dental implant weeks after placement is another sign of a failed bone augmentation. It indicates that the grafting material is not catalyzing bone growth to support the implant. To reduce the risk of bone graft failure, choose the right oral surgeon.  

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Why Toronto Smile Design for Dental Bone Grafts?

Toronto Smile Design Clinic is a leading dental care provider in Toronto. Dr. Johnson Ozgur is a Toronto dentist with a Master's Degree in Oral Surgery. He has years of experience in General Dental Care and Cosmetic Dentistry, including dental bone grafts, implants, porcelain veneers, root canals, gum contouring, and more. Contact us today!  

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