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When Do You Need a Bone Graft?


When do you need a bone graft? Dental bone grafting is essential to replace the bone loss or damaged bone structures in your jaw. Bone density, height, and thickness determine if a dental implant can have a solid foundation, and there could be non-implant-related dental cases in which a bone graft would be necessary, such as stopping the progression of gingival diseases and aesthetically enhancing your smile, just to name a few examples.

There are different types of grafting procedures, techniques, and materials available to restore and regenerate an edentulous area to turn it into a healthy solid base to receive an implant or multiple implants depending on each patient’s clinical case.

As we age, by nature, it is normal that a little of our natural jawbone is lost. If, in addition to this normal deteriorating process, we add dental problems, the result will have a larger impact on our oral health. We must take care of dental diseases at an early stage.

Circumstances that determine when do you need a bone graft


  • Bone loss occurs almost immediately when extracting a tooth, but it can continue for up to five years following the dental extraction. Bone graft for ridge augmentation increases the possibility of qualifying for a dental implant when the time comes, and it’s a good decision even if you would rather choose a dental bridge option over an implant because the esthetic results will be higher due to the lack of dents or depressions in your bone/gums.
  • If an individual suffers from advanced periodontal disease, this characteristic or dental situation causes bone deterioration, resulting in possible tooth loss. Bacteria gradually destroys the jawbone and periodontal ligaments, whose purpose is to keep teeth connected to the bone.
  • If left untreated, dental trauma can lead to loss of bone support around the roots of the teeth, which may result in root resorption (the death of the tooth’s nerve). The constant pressure can also lead to fractured or cracked teeth, which do not heal. As such, you may want to consider using an orthodontic retainer. Dental trauma can also include a tooth getting knocked out from an accident or a fall.
  • When proper support for implant placement is needed. If the supporting bone structure is not strong enough, bone grafting can be the answer to restore the bone loss needed for a successful dental implant procedure.

Bone grafting procedure

The details of your bone grafting surgery will vary considerably according to the reason for your surgery. Here is a general view of the steps implemented in a bone grafting surgery:

  1. Either local or a combination of local anesthesia and intravenous will be administered so that you don’t feel anything during the procedure.
  2. If the process is performed with IV sedation, the anesthesiologist will closely watch your vital signs, such as your heart rate and blood pressure during and after the surgical procedure.
  3. Your doctor will clean the affected area by removing any dead or infected tissue, then he or she will make an incision into the gum and muscle next to where the bone needs to be restored and regenerated, therefore, he or she can insert the new bone graft.
  4. If the bone planned to be used for your bone graft is not allograft, xenograft, or alloplastic but an autologous graft, the oral surgeon will need to make another incision on the donating area to recollect the transplanted bone.
  5. Your oral surgeon might need to place absorbable or non-absorbable membrane barriers with or without screws or tacks to wrap and compress the bone graft to prevent it from getting lost and from reshaping until healing takes place.
  6. When necessary, surgeons may do other necessary repairs before closing up any gaps between the donor sites and the recipient site.

Regardless of the cause of the bone loss, our specialized dentists in Tijuana implement the most advanced and up to date technology available to determine bone density, height, and thickness to digitally plan a successful implant surgery and to build the proper foundations so you can improve your chewing and to help you regain your confidence of smiling.

Your American dental insurance in Tijuana might cover part or all the dental procedures you need, just contact us to verify your exact benefits and to find out how you can benefit from them.

Call today for a consultation to see what our dentists in Tijuana can do for you!

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