Bone Graft San Francisco

The ability to graft and grow new bone is an amazing, important component of medicine and dentistry.  Bone grafting has become more predictable and less invasive than ever before.  An important concept is that bone is dynamic and is constantly changing throughout our lives.  For children, bone is growing and developing at a rapid rate.  As we mature through adulthood, bone growth slows, and as we become older, it can start to atrophy.

Bone needs stimulus to be at an ideal level. If there is too much pressure on bone there will be bone loss. After a tooth is lost, the bone will deteriorate and atrophy if it no longer has a stimulus to support it. A bone graft can be used to regenerate bone on teeth and prepare for implants.  

Bone Grafts are widely used in dentistry and medicine and are safe and predictable. Bone is also flexible and dynamic. During some of our procedures, we can use our patient’s own bone to augment the site. This is minimally invasive and allows for a predictable long-term outcome.

Dental bone grafting is a procedure often used to help build up the bone in your jaw after tooth loss to support dental implants. If you need a bone graft in San Francisco, visit Young Dental SF Group. We are conveniently located at 490 Post Street, Suite 830, San Francisco, CA.

What Is Dental Bone Grafting?

At times, the jaw needs bone grafting to support dental implants because there has been inadequate bone growth or the natural aging process has caused the existing jawbone to shrink. This can make it difficult to place an implant into the jawbone. 

Dental bone grafting is a surgical procedure that can involve using the patient’s own bone as the donor site and grafting it to the recipient site. This is called an autogenous bone graft. The new bone will help to support the dental implants. 

Another option is to use bone from a bone bank. These materials are sterilized, purified, safe, and widely used in dentistry and orthopedic surgery for hips, spines, and long bones. We will typically use an allograft material from human donor tissue. The benefit is that the structure of the bone is maintained.  This provides a scaffolding for new bone to grow.  After 3 to 6 months, the bone graft is replaced by your own bone.  This is your bone and is able to function to support teeth and implants

Are There Different Types of Bone Grafting?

Depending on the patient’s needs, multiple types of bone grafts can be used.

  • Autogenous bone graft. This is when your own bone tissue is taken from another area of your body (the donor site) to be grafted onto the jawbone. This is the most successful type of bone graft because it uses your own living tissue.
  • Allograft bone graft. This procedure involves human bone taken from a human donor bone bank and grafted onto your jawbone. These materials are sterilized and purified while maintaining the characteristics of human bone. These materials are very successful and widely used in medicine and dentistry. There is abundant research on the efficacy and safety of these products. One benefit is that there is an unlimited supply without invasive surgery of your own bone. The harvesting of your own bone many times creates more pain and infection than the grafted recipient site. These materials turn into your own bone in 3 to 6 months, and implants can then be placed.
  • Xenograft bone graft. A bone is taken from an animal and grafted onto the jawbone. The most common type of animal bone used for xenografting is bovine (cow) or porcine pig) bone. These materials are sterilized with high heat to remove any pathology. The issue becomes that this high heat will change the structure of the bone resulting in a longer wait time before implants are placed. This may be useful if grafted in an area where it will last for a long time without the need for implants
  • Alloplastic bone graft. This type of graft is when synthetic materials are grafted onto the jawbone. There are different types of alloplastic bone, but the most common type used is hydroxyapatite, a synthetic form of calcium. Research and science are still developing the ideal synthetic materials that will mimic bone.

Do I Need a Bone Graft After an Extraction?

When a tooth is extracted, the bone no longer has support in this area. Without support, the bone will deteriorate and atrophy over time. This will create a bone defect on this site and the adjacent teeth. After a tooth is extracted, there is space between gum soft tissue and bone hard tissue to fill the void. Soft Tissue takes three months to form, while hard tissue takes three weeks to form. Soft tissue will win the race unless a bone graft or implant is placed into the extraction site. A bone graft with membrane will create a barrier to exclude soft tissue while the bone hard tissue underneath can grow and develop.

Growth Factors

Your dentist may also use growth factors to help with the bone grafting process. Growth factors are proteins that help to stimulate the growth of new bone and soft tissue. They are often used in combination with a bone graft, but they can also be used on their own. They’re given through injections into the jawbone, or they can be applied to the surface of the bone graft. Our office uses PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) and Platelet Rich Fibrin. This is developed by doing an autogenous blood draw from you. From this, we have a process in which we use a centrifuge to spin your blood down into different components. We use platelet-rich components which stimulate bone growth and soft tissue healing.

What Is the Procedure for Dental Bone Grafting?

The first step is to consult your dentist to see if you are a good candidate for dental bone grafting. If you are, the next step is to have a CT scan of your mouth and jawbone. This allows the surgeon to gain a 3D view of your jaw and important anatomy. This will help the surgeon determine how much bone needs to be grafted and where it should be taken from. The scan will also allow for the implant to be placed in the safest position to achieve our implant restorative goals. The dentist will also see if any teeth need to be extracted. This will allow for the most predictable long-term outcome. Once this takes place, you will be scheduled for surgery.

After the bone graft is placed, a barrier membrane is used to keep the graft in place and prevent soft tissue ingrowth. The incision will then be closed with stitches. Many times, antibiotics and steroids are used to promote healing and decrease pain and swelling. Using steroids promotes healing while suppressing a majority of the swelling after surgery.

Post-Surgery Care

After surgery, there are a few things you will need to do to ensure that the graft heals properly.

  • Take pain medication as prescribed by your dentist or oral surgeon
  • Take antibiotics and steroids as prescribed
  • Do warm salt water rinses 3 to 4 times a day
  • Take a multi-vitamin
  • Apply ice to the outside of your face for the first few days to help with swelling
  • Eat soft foods for the first week
  • Avoid tobacco products and alcohol
  • Brush and floss your teeth carefully
  • Attend all follow-up appointments with your dentist. The first checkup is usually at two weeks, where the remaining sutures will be removed.

 Your oral surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to care for your mouth after surgery. You must follow these instructions carefully to ensure proper healing.

Risks and Benefits

As with any surgery, there are risks involved with dental bone grafting. These risks include infection, bleeding, and nerve damage. There is also a risk that the graft will not heal properly. 

Despite the risks, there are many benefits to dental bone grafting. For example, it can help to improve the success rate of dental implants. It can also help preserve the jawbone and prevent further bone loss due to periodontal disease. 

If you are considering dental implants or another type of dental surgery, talk to your dentist about the potential risks. This way, you can make an informed decision about whether or not dental bone grafting is right for you. We will review the risks, benefits, and alternatives and review the informed consent for the proposed procedures.

What Is Sinus Lift Surgery?

A sinus lift is a bone grafting procedure done to raise the sinuses. The sinuses are the spaces between the cheekbones and the upper jawbone. They are filled with air and help to protect the nasal cavity. When the sinuses are raised, it creates more space for dental implants. This is often done in cases where there is not enough bone in the upper jaw for implants to be placed. A sinus lift is a fairly standard procedure and can be done in conjunction with other types of dental surgery, such as tooth extraction or a dental implant. The drainage area for the sinus is higher than the floor of the sinus.

Prior to a sinus lift procedure, 3D imaging will be performed. One reason is to develop a surgical plan, the other reason is to rule out or diagnose any existing sinus conditions. If you have sinus conditions such as chronic rhinitis (sinusitis), polyps or cysts, a consult with an otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose and Throat) specialist may be needed.

San Francisco Bone Grafting

Dental bone grafts are a highly effective way to help restore your smile and improve oral health. If you’re considering getting a dental bone graft, talk with our qualified staff at Young Dental SF Group and our partner practice at Post Street Dental. We have leading dental experts with extensive bone graft surgery experience. We will work with you to develop a treatment and aftercare plan tailored to your specific needs. Call us at (415) 392-8611 to make an appointment with the best dentists in San Fransico.


Are dental bone grafts safe?

Yes, this common dental procedure is a safe procedure. The risks involved are typically low and can be effectively managed by your implant surgeon. A thorough medical history should be done before any surgery to decrease complications and develop a successful plan.

How long for a dental bone graft to heal?

The healing process for a dental bone graft can vary depending on the type of procedure that was done. In most cases, the bone will take several months to heal properly.

Is dental bone grafting painful?

There are different levels of bone grafting procedures. Many times steroids are used to decrease the pain and swelling that occurs from surgery and bone grafting. You may experience some discomfort and swelling after surgery. Your dentist or implant surgeon will prescribe pain medication to help you manage discomfort.

When can I smoke after dental bone graft?

The longer you can avoid smoking tobacco after surgery, the better. Smoking causes vasoconstriction of the blood vessels, which decreases vital blood supply to graft area. The initial healing after surgery occurs after three days to two weeks. It takes 3 to 6 months for bone to fully form and develop. Tobacco can interfere with the healing process and increase the risk of complications. If you are considering a large graft procedure discussing smoking cessation with your implant dentist and physician is a good idea.

Contact Us

"*" indicates required fields

New or Existing Patient?*