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What is a Dental Bone Graft?

A dental bone graft is a surgical procedure that is performed to help prevent long-term oral health problems associated with tooth loss and gum disease.

Bone grafts are used as a filler and act as a mineral reservoir which induces new bone formation.  The bone may be taken from elsewhere in the body and surgically fused to the existing bone in the jaw. But sometimes synthetic bone material can be used.

A dental bone graft is usually done if someone has lost one or more adult teeth or has gum disease which leads to bone loss in the jaw. The most common use of bone grafting is in the application of dental implants that can be performed at Maestri Family Dental.

3 Main Reasons for a Dental Bone Graft

  • Implants for missing teeth. Patients who are having implants placed due to missing teeth, frequently require bone grafting to provide a strong enough foundation.
  • Tooth loss or gum disease. If a portion of your jaw has lost bone due to tooth loss or gum disease, dental bone grafting may be required.
  • Bone loss. Patients whose appearance has been damaged by bone loss may potentially benefit from a bone graft.

Bone grafting helps to repair defects in the jaw bones. This can be done by using the patient’s own bone taken from other places on their body, dead bone from a cadaver, synthetic substitute material, or natural composites. This is possible because bone tissue has the ability to regenerate completely if provided the space that it needs to grow.

Dental Bone Graft Materials


This involves bone taken from your own body such as the hip, chin, or another part of the body.  It is considered the gold standard of dental bone graft replacement.


Bone is harvested from a different person other than the one who is receiving the graft. It is usually taken from cadavers and is typically sourced from a bone bank.


This involves bone grafts from other species other than humans such as cows or bison.


This deals with synthetic material such as hydroxyapatite, a naturally occurring mineral made from bioactive glass. Also, some synthetics are made of calcium carbonate which is completely resorbable in a short time, and tricalcium phosphate in combination with hydroxyapatite.

Is Dental Bone Graft Painful?

Since patients are sedated during a dental bone graft procedure, they will not feel any pain until after the anesthesia wears off. The pain can usually be tolerated with over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription strength pain medication.

The recovery period will also vary for each person, depending on the work being done. For example, if the bone material is harvested from your body, the recovery period can be longer because surgery is done in two locations.

3 Types of Dental Bone Graft Procedures

There are three main types of dental bone graft procedures, and each one is beneficially different.

Block bone graft

When a patient is missing more than a few teeth, and there is significant jawbone deterioration, a block bone graft, also called a major bone graft, may be recommended. For this procedure, the bone is typically taken from the back of the jawbone, close to your wisdom teeth.

Socket graft

This minor graft usually takes place at the same visit as a tooth extraction to avoid bone loss and promote bone growth.

Sinus lift

When bone loss has occurred near the upper molars allowing the sinuses to move down, a sinus lift is done. This graft can require the longest healing time because it can take between 6 to 9 months for the donor bone to restore upper jaw stability while the sinuses are also moved back to position.

Before performing dental implants, Dr. Maestri will advise her patients on if they need a dental bone graft performed.

If a bone graft is necessary, the jawbone will be prepared for surgery to create a solid base for the implant. The process for a dental implant can only take place once the jawbone has completely healed.

Read also: Pros and Cons of Dental Implants

For more information on dental implants near you in Lafayette, LA, contact Maestri Family Dental. Dr. Gina Liggio Maestri, DDS and our well-trained team will make your dream smile a reality because we believe in patient satisfaction.

If you are ready for beautiful lasting results, contact us today. Our dental expertise makes the difference.



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