How Bone Grafting Can Increase the Success Rate of Dental Implants

A group of Old Chinese people laughing

Dental implants, today’s most preferred tooth replacement method, has a national success rate of 98%. Tried and true, tested and proven, implant teeth seldom let you down. But what if you could bump those incredible stats up even higher? Bone grafting is a technique used by oral surgeons to build up your jawbone, the foundation for your dental implants, and give your new teeth an even greater chance to thrive.

Why do I need a bone graft?

Most patients need some type of bone graft before implant placement because the moment you lose a tooth, the bone that was supporting it begins to reabsorb into your body at a rate of about 25% per year. And for many people, there’s usually some wait time between losing a tooth and replacing it. The good news is that a bone graft builds that alveolar ridge (implant-supporting) bone back up no matter how thin, soft, or short it has become. You may also need a bone graft if you have a bony defect due to trauma or infection.

What to expect from a bone graft?

For your bone graft, your oral surgeon will begin by taking a CT scan of the area in question. Next, you’ll receive a local anesthetic to ensure you’re comfortable throughout the procedure. Once you’re sedated, the oral surgeon anchors a block of bone down with titanium screws before surrounding it with bone grafting materials. Over the next several months, regeneration occurs, meaning the bone fuses together and the non-bone material turns into bone cells.

How do you heal from a bone graft?

There are several things that must happen for your bone graft to heal and be a success. The biologic process that regenerates tissue, form, and function must take place, new bone must be created, the blood clot must remain in place, and the bone must grow. Most bone grafts take about 3 months to fully heal and be prepared to support an implant.

How long does it take to recover from a bone graft?

One of the most common questions patients have surrounding bone graft recoveries is how painful they are. And just like most aspects of oral care, it depends on the patient. But it’s rare to feel much pain as you recover, and the vast majority of any discomfort doesn’t last more than a few days. But dental bone graft recovery is often a slow process. Give yourself several days to a week to rest and take it easy. Typical sensations you may experience the first couple of days could range from slight numbness to trouble swallowing. Avoid solid foods for the first several days. To ensure you heal quickly and completely, finish all your antibiotics. Call us if you:

  • Experience pain after 2 weeks.
  • Feel sharp or intense pain.
  • Have a fever.

How long is the wait for a tooth implant after a bone graft?

There are minor bone grafts that can support a dental implant right away, sometimes even the same day the graft was placed. But it’s more common for there to be a 4-6-month healing period before your jaw is ready to support an implant.

Still have questions?

Contact top Flushing oral surgeon Dr. Li to schedule an appointment and find out more about how bone grafting can help prepare you for successful dental implant surgery.

Get the best oral surgery services!

Personalized, gentle, comprehensive patient care is our #1 priority

Call our Flushing NY office (347) 943-1960 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Li or