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Bone Grafting

“Maximizing the outcome of your dental implant surgery”

If you are considering dental implants, you must have healthy gums and adequate jawbone to support the implant. If the bone under your gums is not tall enough, not wide enough or both, you will need to add bone to your jaw before implants can be placed. Bone grafts are a routine procedure performed by our experienced dentists, laying a strong, solid foundation for implants.

Bone Grafting Defined

Recent developments in bone grafting techniques have made dental implant treatment possible in cases that would have been impossible just a few years ago.

Bone grafting is a safe and highly successful procedure that involves the “building up” or adding bone to the jaw by using your own natural bone from another location and/or by using donor, processed or synthetic bone material.

The safest and most desirable source of bone grafting material comes from your own body. This most likely will come from your chin or ramus (the back part of your lower jaw). If we cannot get enough bone from these areas, we may need to get bone from your hip or shin bone (tibia) instead. The hip is considered to be a better source because the hip bone can provide a large amount of bone. However, bone taken from your hip requires a hospital stay and general anesthesia.

Causes That May Necessitate Bone Grafting

  • Gum disease
  • Tooth development defects
  • Wearing dentures long term
  • An injury to the face or trauma
  • Spaces left empty in the mouth after teeth are removed

Types of Bone Grafting

  • Most extensive type of bone grafting - done as a separate surgery from the implant placement and performed by an oral surgeon or periodontist. This procedure makes large changes to the shape and size of the dental ridge so a stable implant can be placed, usually several months later.
  • Generally small type of bone grafting – the jaw may already have enough bone to place the implant, but not enough bone to completely cover the sides of the implant. These types of grafts are generally small in size and are performed at the time of implant placement.

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NuSmile will use anesthesia to numb the area where the bone augmentation is needed (recipient site) and the area from where bone will be removed (donor site).


If the bone is taken from the chin, we will make a cut in the gum below the lower front teeth to expose the chin bone. A block of bone will be removed from the chin along with any bone marrow. The incision is then closed with stitches. The block of bone removed from the chin will be anchored in place with small titanium screws. A mixture of your bone marrow and some other bone-graft material may then be placed around the edges of bone block. We will then place a membrane over the graft and close the incision.


You will be given antibiotics, pain medicine and an antibacterial mouthwash. You will need to avoid certain foods and avoid putting pressure on the area while it heals. If you wear a denture, you may not be able to wear it for a month or longer while the area heals. If you have natural teeth near the bone graft, we may make a temporary removable bridge or denture to help protect the area.

The bone graft will take about six to nine months to heal before we can place the implants. At that time, the titanium screws used to anchor the bone block in place will be removed before the implant is placed.

Success Rate

The success rate for bone grafts in the jaws for the purpose of placing dental implants is very high. However, there is always a chance that the bone graft will fail, even if your own bone was used. A failed graft will be removed, and once the area has healed, we may choose to place a second graft.

Will You Need Bone Grafting?

While the larger procedures can be predicted and planned well in advance, the smaller grafts done at the time of implant placement cannot always be predicted.

During the initial examination, a top Tampa dentist will determine if you need bone grafting to help ensure the best outcome of your implant surgery.

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If you want your teeth to look and function their very best,

Set an appointment with NuSmile today. Our dental expertise extends to virtually any cosmetic or functional issue in the mouth, routinely helping our patients achieve healthy and beautiful smiles. We serve patients in Tampa, Florida, as well as surrounding areas such as Seminole and Clearwater. Schedule a free consultation today.

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