Why Some Need Bone Grafting

Some patients may wonder why they need a bone graft for their dental implants. A bone graft is required when the patient experiences bone loss in their jaw, and cannot support a dental implant. Bone loss can result from injury, tooth rot/decay, extraction, or other reasons. No matter what the reason is, bone grafting and dental implants are a safe long-term solution for tooth loss. This blog will go over the cases where bone grafting is needed and how it can help.

Causes of Bone Loss

Untreated gum disease can lead to not only tooth and gum loss but also bone loss in the jaw. The gum disease, known as periodontitis, is caused by inadequate oral hygiene. It creates a bacterial infection that consequently affects the bones that support the teeth and gums. The plaque creates toxins that infect the gums and tissue under the teeth. The toxins break down the bone and tissue that keep teeth in place which leads to tooth and jawbone loss.

Another cause of bone loss may be if a tooth is removed and not replaced. Teeth stimulate the jawbone with activities like chewing and biting. Without this stimulation from the tooth, the jawbone begins to deteriorate. The rate and amount of bone loss that occurs will vary from person to person. Most bone loss will happen within the first 18 months of tooth extraction and continue during the patient’s lifetime. Luckily, a bone graft performed right after the extraction will help reverse the dental bone loss.

Bone Graft Procedure 

Bone grafting is a minor surgical procedure that is done right here at our dental office. An incision is made in the gum to gain access to the bone beneath it, and then the grafting material is added. The grafting material is processed bone minerals around which your body will deposit new bone cells.

The grafting material itself can come from your own body, but this is an invasive and challenging procedure that is no longer practiced. Very often, the bone comes from an animal (cow or pig) or human donor. The bone has been treated by a laboratory to make it sterile and safe. It can even be a synthetic substance, but human donor bone has the highest success rate. The graft, which is generally covered by a collagen membrane for optimum bone repair, will act as a scaffold onto which your body will build new bone.

How Bone Grafting Helps

A bone graft will create a solid base for the dental implant and will also stimulate growth in the jaw. If the jawbone cannot naturally support the implant, there is a good chance it will cause the implant surgery to fail. Every time we chew our food, there is a high amount of pressure exerted on our jaws, and the bone graft will ensure our bone can handle it without the implant failing.


If you have experienced tooth or bone loss, bone grafting will successfully reverse the damage. Your jaw will have a solid base for the dental implant to secure to and will help you achieve the smile of you’ve been dreaming of. If you are interested in getting a bone graft or dental implant, schedule an appointment with Dr. Carmichael today!