May 23, 2022

Do I Need Bone Grafting for Dental Implants?

If you have experienced tooth loss or recently had a tooth extracted, you may be wondering about bone grafts. 

A reputable dentist will be able to diagnose your need based on visual exams, x-rays, and digital dentistry scanners. These images will allow you to better understand what’s going on and what issues are causing the problems, even if they are underneath the gum line and invisible to the naked eye. 

In the past, those with lower bone volume who’ve experienced tooth loss would be a sure-fire candidate for a bone graft to aid implant retention. For years, the bone grafting procedure was the only way to prepare the jawbone, gums, and mouth for a dental or tooth implant. This article will help you discover if you might be a candidate for a bone graft for dental implants. 

However, at Next Smile™ Ballarat, we strive to give our patients all options. We’ll also go over an effective method for dental implants that avoids bone grafting altogether. The All-on-4® treatment utilises controlled techniques of anchoring implants and innovative implant structures, all of which lead to an incredibly high success rate for patients without the need for bone grafting. 

How Bone Grafts and Bone Volume Are Connected 

When a patient has lost one or more teeth, the roots of those teeth stop being able to stimulate the jawbone and regenerate the lost minerals needed to rebuild itself. 

Throughout our lives, our bones shed minerals and rebuild themselves, but through certain issues, the shedding can become faster than replenishing. When a patient loses teeth, the process of absorption overshadows the rebuilding of the jawbone. 

Patients with tooth loss will experience the bone tissues surrounding the sockets where the bone decreases in both mass and density. A dentist cannot conventionally place a dental implant without a bone graft when this happens. 

The bone grafting procedure places new material or bone from the patient into the socket to stimulate new growth within the site. This material then increases strength in the tissue so that a dental implant can be placed and anchored securely. 

Reasons Other Than Tooth Loss That Can Lead to Weaker Bone Volume and Quality 

The reasons a patient experiences diminished bone quality can be due to genetics, age, diet, or lifestyle. Most commonly, it is because we experience calcium deficiency, which hurts bone quality as we age. 

Generally, this affects women more than men and can be exacerbated through menopause, but it can also happen because of an overly restrictive diet or eating disorder. 

Signs You May Need a Bone Graft

Signs You May Need a Bone Graft 

Some patients need dental implants and do not require bone grafts. 

However, if one or more of the following pertains to you, you will likely need the procedure to get implants unless you opt for the All-on-4® method of dental implantation that Next Smile™ Ballarat provides. 

You have one or more missing teeth 

If you’ve lost multiple teeth, or a single tooth in the years past, you may need a bone graft. 

The longer a patient waits between tooth loss and dental implants, the more likely they will need a bone graft. 

You suffer from gum disease 

Many people experience gingivitis, and although it is common, it is still a form of periodontal disease. There are also those who have chronic or aggressive periodontitis, many of whom are otherwise healthy aside from their gums. 

Gum disease negatively impacts the amount of bone tissue as it is an infection. This infection can work its way past the gums and into one’s jawbone when left untreated. 

Jaw injury 

Patients who have experienced a break in their jawbone or injury to their face due to boxing, sports, or fights may need a bone graft depending on the severity of the injury.

In these cases, a dentist may offer a bone graft as the patient's only option to increase bone volume in the socket or add a bone graft to restore the shape or jaw. 

Historically this was the only way to create enough bone tissue throughout the jaw to hold a dental implant. 


If a patient has a medication condition, such as osteoporosis, that makes bone density weaker, they will experience more breaks and be more likely in need of bone grafting, but drugs used to treat osteoporosis can negatively affect the success of bone grafts. 

This is common for older women but can affect all ages and genders. 

Although there are ways to mitigate the other effects of osteoporosis, commonly, these are the patients who are offered bone grafts. 

Bone Grafts

Why Bone Grafts Aren’t Always The Answer 

When a large volume of bone graft is required, patients must undergo invasive, lengthy and uncomfortable procedures. They have to schedule their bone grafting nearly a year before receiving their dental implants. This leaves patients uncomfortable as they wait for their natural bone and the graft material to fuse. If you are tired of dentures or cannot wear dentures due to a lack of bone, you may want to consider the All-on-4® method of dental implantation. 

How Next Smile™ is Making Bone Grafts a Procedure of The Past 

Dr Paulo Malo is the dentist who pioneered the All-on-4® treatment of managing complex cases, using zygomatic implants. These implants are longer than conventional implants and can be anchored into the cheekbone bypassing the patient’s sinus, avoiding the weaker parts of the jaw bone where the patient has experienced major bone loss.

As the teeth are set through only four anchors, four implants are needed, whereas, in conventional dental implants, one is required for every tooth. In addition, the All-on-4® treatment allows dentists to implant the titanium rods at an angle to fit securely in wherever is strongest in the patient's jaw. 

While bone grafting for conventional dental implants can take six months to a year, the All-on-4® treatment and zygomatic implants are completed on the day of surgery and the implant-retained bridge within 1-2 days. This means less time in the dentist's office, less time spent without the teeth they'll be fitted with, and more comfort and ease in the procedure.

Experience The New Wave of Dental Implants Without Bone Grafting at Next Smile™ Ballarat

Whether you’ve experienced major tooth loss or want to fix a single aspect of your smile, Next Smile™ can help.

If you want to see a more beautiful smile, but don’t want the invasive and time-consuming procedure of bone grafting, visit Next Smile™ Ballarat today.