Bone Graft for Dental Implants: How Much Bone is Needed and How Long will it Take For Bone Growth?


Peter asks:
In early September I had a bone graft done in anticipation of a future dental implant. The bone width at the time was 1mm. I am scheduled for an implant in December. Is three months a long enough period of time to allow for the additional bone growth? Is it feasible to expect growth to approx 5mm of width, which I am told is the minimum for an implant?

Answered by: Dr. Michael Tischler

Woodstock, NY

Dear Peter,

You are correct in saying that the 5 mm of west is the minimum amount of bone to place a dental implant. With a 3mm dental implant that gives you 1mm of bone on either side of the implant from a facial and lingual perspective. I would rather see 6-7mm for additional support of the implant and gum tissue.

There are various ways to graft bone and depending on what procedure your dentist performed, will determine how much bone width or height is achieved.

It is not unreasonable to obtain an additional 4mm of bone width through the grafting materials and procedures that are available today. In my office we utilize a Cone Beam CT machine to verify the amount of bone grown, post grafting.

The the amount of time for a graft to heal, will depend on the amount of bone needed to be grown. This will vary between a three and six months.

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drkazemi's picture

Bone graft for dental implants

Answered By: Dr. H. Ryan Kazemi - Bethesda , MD

The minimum width of bone is 5-6 mm, although if a wider implant is placed in the back of the mouth (as often recommended), then 7-8 mm is more appropriate. Using the proper technique, approach, and materials, it is very much possible and realistic to achieve such dimensions of bone growth.

The length of time for bone graft to heal, in my experience, is at least five to six months. This is true for several different kind of grafting materials and techniques.

All the best
Dr. H. Ryan Kazemi

Dr. H. Ryan Kazemi

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