Understanding Bone Grafting & Dental Implants

If you suffer from broken or missing teeth, dental implants may be for you!  Dental implants look, feel and function like your natural teeth, however, since they are anchored in your jaw like your natural teeth, they do require adequate bone to provide support.  Some patients may have bone loss due to genetics, untreated periodontal disease or trauma.  Thankfully, even if you suffer from bone loss, you may still be a candidate for dental implants with the help of bone grafting and if you are experiencing bone loss, you are not alone– half of all dental implant procedures require bone grafting. 

What is bone grafting?

During a bone grafting procedure, your surgeon will replace missing bone with grafting material to offer stability for your dental implants.  There are many different materials that can be used for bone grafting.  

  1. Allografts come from a human donor (usually cadaver bone) that has been treated to ensure it is free of disease/immune reactions.
  2. Autografts involve the surgeon taking bone tissue from your own body (usually your chin, shin or hip)
  3. Xenografts utilize the “inorganic portions of animal bones”1 (usually cows)
  4. Alloplasts are created from a mineral in bone called hydroxyapatite.
  5. Ceramic-based grafts are made from ceramics (and sometimes combines with bioactive glass or calcium)

Most dental surgeons consider Autographs to be the best because they promote faster healing while increasing bony support in the jaw, but consult with your surgeon to choose the best option for you.2

What are the different bone grafting procedures?

Your dental surgeon will assess your specific needs and choose the best bone grafting procedure for you.

  1. Socket Grafts are done immediately after a tooth/teeth is removed to maintain the alveolar ridge and stop bone deterioration from occurring.  During this procedure, your surgeon places your chosen bone graft material into the empty socket where the tooth was removed.
  2. Sinus Lift Grafts are done when dental implants are needed in the upper jaw since it is less stable than the lower for dental implants.  Also, if the maxillary sinus cavity is too close to where the implant will be placed a sinus lift graft is performed.
  3. Block Bone Grafts involve using a small “block” of bone from the patient’s chin/lower jaw near where he/she once had wisdom teeth. 2

What does a bone grafting procedure entail?

After you have had your consultation and chosen the type of bone graft to be used you will most likely expect anesthesia→extraction/bone sourcing (if autograft chosen)/tooth extraction if necessary→insert the bone graft→suture the area→allow time for your body to heal (bone regeneration) and be ready to support your dental implants. 

The good news is although bone grafting and bone regeneration procedures sound complex, they are relatively routine and can be performed quickly to have you on your way to the mouth of your dreams through dental implants.  

Schedule a Consultation Today

Looking for a top dental implant surgeon in Southeast Michigan?  Look no further!  Dr. Gregory J. Young is a Diplomate and board certified by the American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry. He is also an Associate Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. Additionally, he provides education, training and mentoring to his colleagues in all phases of implant dentistry. He has over 37 years of experience and dedicates his practice solely to implant dentistry and training.

If you are missing a tooth/teeth, have bone loss and are interested in dental implant surgery, please call 888.257.4025 to set up a consultation with Dr. Young.  He has several office locations he works out of throughout Southeast Michigan. 


  1. Understanding Bone Grafts for Dental Implants.  Colgate.come. Available 26 October 2021.  Website:
  2. Bone Grafting and Dental Implants: The Basic Facts.  Campbell Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center.  Available 26 October 2021.  Website:

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