How Do Dental Bone Grafts Work

If you’re considering dental implants or other types of dental procedures, you may have come across the term “dental bone grafts.” But what exactly are dental bone grafts, and how do they work? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of dental bone grafts cost, their purpose, the procedure involved, and what you can expect during the recovery process.

Key Takeaways:

  • Dental bone grafts are surgical procedures that involve adding bone or bone-like materials to the jawbone to create a stable foundation for dental implants or support bone regeneration.
  • Types of dental bone grafts include autografts (using the patient’s own bone), allografts (using donor bone), xenografts (using animal-derived bone), and synthetic grafts (laboratory-produced materials).
  • The dental bone graft procedure typically involves an initial consultation, anaesthesia administration, placement of the grafting material, healing and integration, implant placement, and post-operative recovery.
  • Dental bone grafts can take around 4 to 6 months to fully heal and integrate before proceeding with dental implant placement.
  • The cost of a dental bone graft in Australia can range from AUD 800 to AUD 3000 per graft, depending on factors such as the type of graft, extent of bone loss, dentist’s experience, and location of the dental practice.

dental bone graft

How Do Dental Bone Grafts Work?

Dental bone grafts are surgical procedures that involve adding bone or bone-like materials to your jawbone. The purpose of these grafts is to create a solid foundation for dental implants or to support the growth of new bone in areas where it has been lost or damaged. By restoring bone structure, dental bone grafts provide a stable base for implants and improve the overall function and aesthetics of your smile.

The procedure starts with a thorough examination by a qualified oral surgeon or dentist. They will assess your oral health, review your medical history, and determine if a bone graft is necessary. If a bone graft is recommended, the next step is to choose the appropriate grafting material.

Dental Bone Graft Cost in Australia

The cost of a dental bone graft in Australia can range from AUD 800 to AUD 3000 per graft. Factors such as the type of graft, extent of bone loss, and the dentist’s experience can influence the final cost. While dental insurance plans generally do not cover bone grafts, some private health insurance policies with extras cover may offer partial coverage. Payment options such as payment plans and healthcare financing are available to help make the procedure more affordable. It’s important to consult with your dentist for a personalized cost assessment based on your specific needs.

Types of Dental Bone Grafts

There are several types of dental bone grafts available, and the choice depends on various factors, including the location and extent of bone loss. Here are some common types of dental bone grafts:


Autografts involve taking bone from one area of your body, such as the chin, hip, or tibia, and transplanting it to the jawbone. This type of grafting is highly effective since it utilises your own bone, which reduces the risk of rejection or complications. However, it requires an additional surgical site, which may result in longer recovery times.


Allografts use bone grafting material from a human donor. The grafting material is carefully processed and sterilised to eliminate the risk of disease transmission. Allografts are a popular choice due to their availability and ease of use. They eliminate the need for a secondary surgical site and often result in shorter recovery periods.


Xenografts involve using bone grafting material derived from an animal source, usually bovine (cow) or porcine (pig) origin. Similar to allografts, xenografts undergo extensive processing to ensure biocompatibility and sterility. This type of grafting is a suitable option for individuals who prefer non-human sources or have limited autograft options.

Synthetic Bone Grafts

Synthetic bone grafts are laboratory-produced materials that mimic the properties of natural bone. These grafts are typically made from biocompatible materials such as calcium phosphate ceramics or hydroxyapatite. Synthetic bone grafts provide structural support and gradually promote the growth of new bone. They are a viable alternative for individuals who prefer not to use autografts or allografts.

The Dental Bone Graft Procedure

The dental bone graft procedure typically involves the following steps:

Initial Consultation

Your oral surgeon will examine your oral health, review your medical history, and take any necessary X-rays or scans to assess the extent of bone loss.


Before the procedure begins, local anaesthesia will be administered to ensure your comfort throughout the surgery.

Grafting Material Placement

The chosen grafting material will be placed in the targeted area, where bone regeneration is required. The material may be secured with screws, membranes, or sutures to ensure stability.

Healing and Integration

Over time, the grafting material will stimulate the growth of new bone cells, integrating with your existing jawbone. This process is known as osseointegration.

Implant Placement

Once the graft has successfully integrated, your dentist or oral surgeon can proceed with placing the dental implant. The implant serves as an artificial tooth root and provides a stable foundation for a crown, bridge, or denture.

Recovery and Follow-up

After the procedure, you will be given post-operative instructions to follow. It’s essential to maintain good oral hygiene, adhere to a soft-food diet, and attend regular follow-up appointments to monitor the healing process.


How long does it take for a dental bone graft to heal?

The healing time can vary depending on the individual and the extent of the graft. On average, it takes about 4 to 6 months for the graft to fully integrate and heal before proceeding with dental implant placement.

Are dental bone grafts painful?

The procedure is performed under local anaesthesia, so you shouldn’t experience any pain during the surgery. However, you may feel some discomfort and swelling during the healing process. Your dentist can prescribe pain medication to manage any post-operative pain.

Are there any risks or complications associated with dental bone grafts?

Like any surgical procedure, dental bone grafts carry some risks. These include infection, bleeding, nerve damage, and graft failure. However, with proper pre-operative evaluation and post-operative care, the risks can be minimised.

How long do dental bone grafts last?

Dental bone grafts are designed to be long-lasting and provide a permanent solution for missing or damaged bone. With good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups, the grafts can last a lifetime.

Are dental bone grafts covered by insurance?

Coverage for dental bone grafts varies depending on your insurance plan. It’s best to check with your insurance provider to determine if the procedure is covered and to what extent.

Can anyone get dental bone grafts?

Dental bone grafts are generally suitable for individuals who have experienced bone loss due to trauma, gum disease, tooth extraction, or congenital conditions. However, not everyone is a candidate for bone grafting, and it’s essential to consult with a dental professional to determine your eligibility.


Dental bone grafts are an essential component of many dental procedures, providing the necessary support and foundation for successful implant placement or bone regeneration. By understanding how dental bone grafts work and the different types available, you can make informed decisions about your dental health.

If you’re considering dental implants or have concerns about bone loss in your jaw, consult with a qualified oral surgeon or dentist. They can evaluate your specific needs and recommend the most suitable treatment plan, which may include dental bone grafts.