Bone Grafting for Implants in San Antonio, TX

Do I Need a Bone Graft?

In some cases, after a tooth extraction, bone loss can leave a person without enough bone to secure a dental implant. This is when a bone graft is needed. We offer bone grafting services to augment your bone and help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted!

In some cases, a bone graft can be placed at the same time as the implant placement. However, if significant bone loss has occurred, a bone graft may be placed and allowed to heal for up to six months. After the graft has fused to the pre-existing bone, the implant can be placed.

Bone grafts can also be placed at the time of tooth extraction to help the body fill in the empty socket with bone, maintaining the width and volume of bone needed for implant placement several months later. In the upper jaw above the back teeth, new bone can be created in the sinus to increase the height of bone available. This procedure is called a “sinus augmentation.”

Although bone grafting can increase the time, effort, and expense of the implant treatment, it generally leads to better long-term results. When used in the front of the mouth, bone grafting can result in better aesthetics. In most cases, bone grafting is a relatively comfortable office procedure.

Where Do You Get the Extra Bone From?

You can get bone from a variety of sources, with one of the best sources being your own body! Your bone can be obtained from different areas of your body, usually from behind your back teeth in the lower jaw or from your chin. If your own bone is used to create new bone in another part of your mouth, you may experience discomfort at both the donor site and the grafting site. However, many people consider the additional discomfort to be worthwhile as using your own bone is generally considered the best option.

Other Bone Grafting Sources

There are a few alternatives to using your own bone for grafting, such as those harvested from bovine (cow) or porcine (pig) sources. or Synthetic materials are also available. Usually, a combination of these materials and your own bone is used to serve as a scaffold for the growth of new bone, which will eventually support dental implants.

Surgeons may also use a “barrier membrane” to prevent the fast-growing soft tissue cells in your mouth from interfering with the growth of slower-growing bone cells in the grafting site. Most barrier membranes are resorbable and will naturally dissolve over a few months.