← Back

Bone and tissue grafting

Sufficient bone and gum tissue is important to your oral health. Learn about your options to restore what has been lost.

Bone and tissue grafting

How bone grafting can help

A missing tooth that has not been replaced makes the jawbone susceptible to bone loss over time. Bone loss in the jaw can cause dental issues, change the shape of the face, and more. Placing a dental implant is a popular tooth replacement option, and since it is considered a complete tooth replacement, it works to prevent bone loss in the jaw. If, however, there is insufficient bone to support an implant, the implant cannot be placed unless a bone graft is performed. A bone graft augments the amount of bone in the jaw. Although bone grafts are used as a part of many other oral surgery treatments, bone grafts are often used in conjunction with dental implant treatment.

A bone graft procedure involves placing granulated bone material at the site where new bone is desired. The granulated bone material used may be sourced from your own available bone, or a donor bank.

Different types of bone grafting procedures can be performed, depending on the location and type of treatment.

  • Socket Preservation: Granulated bone material is placed directly into the socket after a tooth extraction. This is usually done to prevent bone loss as well as prepare the mouth for a future dental implant.
  • Sinus Lift Procedure: Sometimes, the ridge of bone that separates the maxillary sinus cavity from the upper jaw is too thin to place an upper implant. A sinus lift adds bone to the sinus floor to create a sufficient foundation for a dental implant.
  • Ridge Expansion: The alveolar ridge may require a bone graft if the ridge has been reabsorbed. A bone graft will increase the height and/or width of the ridge.
  • Nerve Repositioning: The inferior alveolar nerve is responsible for providing sensation to the lower lip and chin. In some cases, this nerve may need to be moved to allow placement of a dental implant.

Naturally accelerated healing

Greater Ventura Oral & Facial Surgery strives to achieve improved oral health outcomes for their patients in a safe, sterile, and welcoming environment. Just like any surgical procedure, some recovery time is to be expected following treatment. Thanks to modern medicine, there are many new surgical techniques that make it possible to speed up the healing process. Many of these treatments, such as bone morphogenic protein (BMP) and platelet-rich plasma (PMP), rely on the growth and healing factors that are naturally found within the body.

Bone morphogenic protein (BMP)

Bone morphogenic proteins (BMPs) can be used as a way to increase the efficacy of surgical treatments and are commonly used in conjunction with oral surgery procedures such as bone and gum tissue grafting and dental implant surgery. BMPs are naturally found throughout the body. When applied to the surgical site, BMPs stimulate bone growth and healing, which benefits the patient with a faster recovery time and less postoperative pain and discomfort.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)

Platelet-rich plasma, also known as PRP, promotes faster healing and recovery. PRP contains a high concentration of clotting agents and has been proven to augment recovery time. PRP provides 3 to 5 times the amount of growth factors to the surgical site. As a blood by-product, PRP can be obtained using a small sample of your own blood for a safe and healthy addition to your treatment.

Platelet-rich fibrin (PRF)

PRP is spun at a quick speed, causing heavier blood cells, such as white blood cells and stem cells, to collect at the bottom of the test tube and the lighter cells to collect at the top. The top part of the test tube is administered to the surgical site for healing. Platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) is a similar method of accelerated, natural healing that involves spinning the centrifuge at a slower speed to maintain more white and stem cells in the blood. Thus, more healing factors can be administered to the surgical site.


AlloDerm regenerative tissue matrix, developed by BioHorizons®, was introduced to dentistry in 1997. It supports tissue regeneration by using an effective barrier membrane that transitions into the patient’s own tissue. Ultimately, this matrix contributes to a strong, natural healing process. Talk with your oral surgeon about your options in accelerated healing to learn more about how you can achieve a smooth, speedy recovery.

Tissue grafting

Gums that are receding pose a risk to oral health. Gums that are recessed pulls the tissue away from the tooth, which leaves more of the tooth and even the tooth root exposed, and can lead to tooth loss and damage to the supporting bone. Gum recession happens slowly over a period of time. The first signs of gum recession may not even be noticeable. It is always a good idea to monitor your oral health with a monthly self-exam, and to see your dentist twice a year for regular check-ups and cleanings.

If a tissue graft is needed to restore the gum that has been lost, your oral surgeon may recommend one of three types:

  • Connective-tissue grafts: A small flap is cut in the palate of the mouth and the healthy tissue under the flap is removed, and surgically attached to the gum where more tissue is needed.
  • Free gingival grafts: For patients with thin gums, tissue is removed from the palate and surgically attached to the exposed tooth root.
  • Pedicle grafts: Tissue is partially cut and stretched over the exposed tooth root.

While most tissue grafts use your own tissue, graft material may also be used from a tissue bank.