Bone Grafting

It is common for patients who have been missing a tooth or several teeth for an extended period of time to need a bone grafting procedure. When a tooth is lost and not replaced, the jaw bone may begin to resorb, or deteriorate, making some tooth replacement procedures, like the placement of dental implants, difficult to perform. If there is not enough bone present to surround the implant, the implant may not be stable enough to support the tooth crown and is likely to have future complications. There are many different bone grafting procedures that can be performed; the treatment that you receive will depend on your individual case and oral needs.

The material used to create a bone graft can be obtained from a variety of sources. The graft material is most often obtained from a tissue bank, but bone can also be taken from another area of your upper or lower jaws.


This small oral bone graft is placed to fill an empty tooth socket after a tooth has been lost or extracted. The placement of this bone graft is fairly simple and usually does not involve an extensive recovery period. The bone graft helps to stimulate your body to regenerate bone at the site of the tooth extraction. Often, a more extensive bone graft will not be required.


All patients have maxillary sinuses behind their cheeks and on top of their upper teeth. These sinuses are hollow and the bone that separates the mouth from the sinus cavity is usually very thin. When you lose a tooth in the upper jaw, it is often extremely difficult to replace it with a dental implant because there is not enough bone present. To solve this problem, the surgical team at Oral Surgery Specialists of Atlanta can perform a sinus lift procedure, in which the oral surgeon enters into the sinus cavity and lifts up the sinus membrane. A bone graft is placed under the membrane, which will integrate with the bone in the jaw over several months. Once the graft has healed, dental implants can be placed.


When the alveolar ridge bone, a special type of bone surrounding and supporting teeth, begins to deteriorate or lose density due to natural breakdown, a more complex form of bone grafting may be necessary. A ridge expansion can be performed to widen or heighten the jaw to increase the bone volume and allow implant placement. During ridge expansion, the bony ridge of the jaw is split surgically, and bone graft material is inserted into the space made.