Bone Grafts Before Implants: What to Expect

Bone Grafts Before Implants: What to Expect

Although dental implants have revolutionized the field of restorative dentistry and provide a long-lasting 一 and aesthetically pleasing 一 solution for replacing missing teeth, not everyone is an immediate candidate for them. That’s because you need ample jaw bone to support a dental implant. 

In cases where your jaw bone lacks the necessary density or volume to support an implant, our team of providers may recommend a bone graft procedure. Bone grafts serve as a foundation for successful implant placement, ensuring stability and durability. 

If you're considering dental implants but require a bone graft, understanding the process and what to expect can help you prepare for the journey ahead.

Let’s take a closer look at what to expect when you have one.

Preparing for your bone graft

Before the bone graft surgery, your Supertooth provider conducts a thorough examination, which may include X-rays, CT scans, and/or a cone beam scan. These imaging techniques help determine the extent of bone loss and the most suitable grafting technique. 

Additionally, our team reviews your medical history and discusses any medications you're currently taking. 

Choosing your bone graft

There are several types of bone grafts used in dental implant procedures. The choice depends on the severity of the bone loss and your specific needs. Here are the most common types:


This type of graft involves using bone harvested from another area of your body, such as your hip or chin. Autografts are considered the gold standard due to their high success rate and compatibility with your body.


Allografts use bone from a tissue bank, typically obtained from cadavers. These grafts eliminate the need for additional surgery to collect bone from your body. They are thoroughly sterilized and processed to ensure safety and minimize the risk of rejection.


Xenografts use bone graft material derived from an animal source, usually bovine (cow) or porcine (pig). These grafts provide a framework for new bone growth, gradually being replaced by your natural bone over time.

Synthetic grafts

Synthetic grafts are created using biocompatible materials like calcium phosphate or hydroxyapatite. These materials mimic the structure of natural bone and encourage your body's healing response.

What to expect during your bone graft

On the day of the bone graft surgery at Supertooth Dental Group, your oral surgeon administers local or general anesthesia to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure. The specific technique employed will depend on the chosen graft type, but the general process is as follows:

You then receive specific postoperative care instructions. 

What to expect after your bone graft

Immediately after your bone graft, your mouth may remain numb for a few hours, and you may experience minor side effects of anesthesia. 

Recovery and healing

Following the bone graft surgery, you can expect some swelling, discomfort, and minor bleeding. Our team prescribes pain medication, antibiotics, and recommends specific postoperative care guidelines. It's crucial to follow these instructions diligently to promote optimal healing. 

The graft will gradually integrate with your existing bone, which typically takes several months. During this healing period, we closely monitor your progress and determine when it's appropriate to proceed with the dental implant placement.

Dental implant placement

Once the bone graft has fully integrated and the jaw bone is deemed strong enough, you can undergo the dental implant procedure. This involves surgically placing a titanium implant into the bone to serve as an artificial tooth root. Depending on your needs, we may place a single implant, or if you’re opting for All-on-4® or All-on-6® implants, we may place more titanium posts. 

Following the implant placement, a healing period is necessary for the implant to fuse with the bone, a process known as osseointegration. After successful osseointegration, we attach a customized dental crown to the implant, completing your tooth restoration.

Are you considering dental implants?

While bone grafts may add an extra step to the dental implant process, they play a crucial role in ensuring the long-term success of your implant. By providing a solid foundation and stimulating bone growth, bone grafts allow for secure implant placement and natural-looking results. 

If you require a bone graft before getting dental implants, rest assured that our Supertooth team will guide you through the entire process, from pre-operative preparation to postoperative care. By understanding what to expect, you can embark on your journey toward a restored smile with confidence.

To explore the possibilities of a dental implant, call our Bethesda, Gaithersburg, or Germantown, Maryland, offices to schedule your dental implant consultation. 

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