Bone grafting is commonly performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to preserve or augment bone in areas of tooth loss. Bone grafting to the jaws and facial structures may be necessary in a wide variety of scenarios. The most common bone grafts are facial skeleton and jaw procedures. Other common procedures include tooth extraction site graft, bone graft reconstruction and for a sinus lift. Shrinkage of bone often occurs when a tooth is lost due to trauma, severe caries, or periodontal disease. Additionally, bone loss may have already occurred due to infection or pathology around a tooth. There are many biocompatible bone substitutes available. The best material to preserve bone in areas of tooth loss/extraction sites, is donor bone from a bone bank. For augmentation, the bone graft typically comes from your own bone at the back part of your lower jaw. There are also synthetic materials that can be used for bone grafting.
The bone graft typically takes about 3 to 6 months to heal before dental implants can be placed. At that time, the titanium screws used to anchor the bone block in place will usually be removed at the time of implant placement.