Bone Grafting and Augmentation

Bone grafting is used to restore a large amount of bone tissue that has deteriorated, whereas bone augmentation is used to replace a small amount of bone tissue. Bone in the jaw is kept strong and healthy when a healthy tooth is in its socket. However, when bone loss occurs, the tooth has less support, can become loose and eventually be lost. Bone grafting and augmentation attempt to regenerate lost bone that supports teeth, so dental implants can be used to replace missing teeth.

During a bone graft or a bone augmentation procedure, our staff will administer local anesthesia to make your procedure more comfortable. You may also receive IV sedation, so you will not be awake for the procedure.

Bone Graft

During a bone graft, we will lift the gum tissue above the bone-deficient area. A large block of grafted bone is put into place using fixation screws. Augmentation material is placed over the block, and a special membrane will cover the entire area to facilitate growth. The gum tissue is then stitched back into position to cover and protect the surgical area. The stitches are small and should dissolve within two weeks. During a bone graft, a significant portion of bone is missing, so placing an implant during this procedure is not possible. You will need two separate surgeries. After the bone graft is complete, we often suggest waiting approximately 10 months before placing your implant(s).

Bone Augmentation

During a bone augmentation, we will lift the gum tissue above the bone-deficient area. Since the area of bone loss is small, only the augmentation material is placed, and a special membrane covers the area to facilitate growth. The gum tissue is then stitched back into position to cover and protect the surgical area. The stitches are small and should dissolve within two weeks. If there is enough bone tissue in place at the implant site, the implant can be placed during a bone augmentation procedure. Eventually the implant will be surrounded by new bone as a result of the bone augmentation.