What is Bone Grafting?

What is Bone Grafting?

What is Bone Grafting?

July 26, 2020


One of our most commonly asked questions is ‘What is Bone Grafting?’ So our team of dental professionals has created this blog to help you understand all things bone grafting.

What is a bone graft?

A dental bone graft is a surgical procedure used to replace or replenish bone loss using bone formative agents. These agents can be sourced from your own body, a donor, a natural substitute, or even synthetic materials. In dentistry, bone graft surgery is often used in preparation for dental implant procedures for patients with significant bone loss or bone deficiency in the jawbone.

Bone grafts are used as a filler or a scaffold to rebuild contours or available bone that has been weakened or lost following tooth extraction, injuries or trauma, or where bone and gum disease has resulted in bone loss. Bone grafts can prolong the life of teeth or implants. Most of the grafting materials will promote bone growth and eventually be replaced by the body’s own natural bone.

Following a bone graft procedure, you can expect to have an improved jawbone profile that is more suitable to support a dental implant or restorative prosthesis.

Types of bone grafts


An autograft involves using bone tissue within your body and surgically transplanting it into a bone-deficient area. Although these types of procedures are now less common, your dentist or health professional may transplant bone tissue from your:

  • Ribs
  • Chin
  • Hips
  • Pelvis
  • Wrist


An allograft is like an autograft, except the bone tissue is harvested from donor individuals who have either donated their bodies to help the living or have had bone harvested as part of other surgery, such as hip replacement therapy.

These bone graft materials are treated so that all cellular tissue is removed and are thus biologically safe.


A xenograft means the active agent is derived either from a bovine or porcine source. These are very commonly used and tend to be good, slow-resorbing materials that hold good bone bulk. Generally used where ‘volume’ is required.

Synthetic grafts

These materials are derived from naturally occurring ceramics or bioactive glass. Synthetic grafts to date do not seem to have the same predictable results as those achieved with allografts or xenografts but show good promise as improvements are made to their composition over time.

Do all dental implant procedures require bone grafting?

Not all dental implant procedures require bone grafting. Bone grafting is only required if you do not have enough bone or bone volume available to support an implant.

What are the risks of bone grafting

In some cases, like with any surgical procedure, you may experience side effects when undergoing a bone graft treatment. These may include:

  • Swelling
  • Infection
  • Failure of grafting
  • Fracturing bones( from harvested site)
  • wound dehiscence

All surgical procedures carry risks, and the success of your procedure depends on how well your graft was placed, how well your body responds, and how well you look after yourself.  For your treatment to be successful, your jawbone will have to integrate with the implanted bone.

In some cases, you may experience signs of dental bone graft failure. The symptoms of bone graft failure may include:

  • Pain
  • Infection in your mouth
  • Swelling

What to expect after your bone grafting procedure?

Following your bone graft procedure, you should eat soft food and avoid any hot drinks for 24 hours. In addition, rinsing your mouth out excessively after your treatment may enhance bleeding, so you should avoid this where possible. You should also avoid drinking through a straw, as negative pressure may dislodge some of the grafting material.

In addition, you may also be provided with medication to help you manage any pain or discomfort (anti-inflammatory) or antibiotics to prevent post-op infection from occurring.

It is important for healing that you take it easy. Do not undertake any strenuous physical activity for the next 2 – 3 days after your procedure.

How long does healing take?

It may take 3 months or more for it to heal properly. This also depends on how well you take care of your oral health. We advise you to brush and floss twice daily or after eating any meals to maintain good oral hygiene.

Research suggests that smoking can prevent the bone from healing and may lead to bone graft failure. If you are a smoker, it is important that you stop, or significantly limit your smoking following your surgery. You should consult with your dentist or health professional so they can provide you with an effective aftercare plan.

Bone Grafting on the Gold Coast

At Dental Implants and Aesthetics, we offer bone grafting and bone augmentation procedures at both of our Gold Coast locations, Southport and Tugun with Dr Franck Page.

Contact our team to arrange a consultation regarding surgery. Alternatively, you can book an appointment online 24/7.