Dental Health Blog

All You Need to Know About Bone Grafting Services in Calgary

Your dentist may recommend a dental bone graft to replace a part of the jaw where bone tissue has been lost due to disease, injury, or trauma. Dental bone grafts are also common where additional support is needed for dental implants. Although dental bone grafts fall under cosmetic dentistry, the procedure goes beyond aesthetic purposes. 

Replacing lost bone can restore the natural function of your jaw and encourage natural bone to grow, preventing future bone loss and further complications. Some of the most common reasons patients need dental bone grafting in Calgary include:

  • Dental implants - Bone grafting is necessary for patients who don’t have enough jawbone to support implants. The additional bone helps build a strong base for the implant and increases a patient’s eligibility to receive dental implants who otherwise would have been denied the treatment.
  • Gum disease - Advanced periodontal disease can lead to bone loss which affects the surrounding teeth and gums. Teeth can become loose, shift around, and impact the facial structure. In this case, dental bone grafting is needed to restore damaged bone and promote natural growth. 
  • Age - Jaw bone loss is more common as we age and is sometimes associated with a bone-thinning condition called osteoporosis. Older adults who have lost bone mass and whose appearance is impacted by bone loss are good candidates for dental bone grafting. 
  • Injury or trauma - A patient who has experienced injury or trauma such as a major infection or underlying health problems can qualify for a dental bone graft.

Symptoms of jaw bone loss

As we age, our bones remold and shift, which is a healthy and natural process that removes and replaces bones when necessary. However, when bone is removed quicker than it can be replaced, bone loss occurs. Symptoms of jawbone loss include:

  • Gum recession or shrinking gums
  • Pain when chewing
  • Loose teeth 
  • Shifting teeth
  • Gaps between the teeth
  • Changes in facial structure or bite
  • Distorted facial features
  • Wrinkles around the mouth

What to expect with dental bone grafting services

Bone can be taken from elsewhere in your body, such as your hip or jaw, from a donor, another species such as a cow or pig, or the material can be completely synthetic. During your consultation, your dentist will speak to you about the different types of bone grafts and help you decide which is best for you depending on your comfort level.

The preferred method is to take bone from your body, known as an autograft. Using your own bone promotes quicker healing and encourages natural bone formation. However, an autograft can be more extensive, as it requires two surgeries to take bone from your body and then place it into your jaw where it’s needed.

While the procedure itself can differ between patients, the process is typically the same:

  1. Grafting material is harvested or prepared for insertion.
  2. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia. If large amounts of bone need to be grafted, you may be placed under general anesthesia. Your vital signs will be monitored throughout the process.
  3. The affected area is cleaned. 
  4. Your dentist will make an incision in the jaw where the grafting site is.
  5. The bone material is inserted between two sections of bone. 
  6. The gums are stitched back into place. 

After the procedure is complete, you’ll be monitored for a few minutes before being discharged and given after-care instructions. Your dentist will likely prescribe you antibiotics to prevent infection and a prescription for pain relievers. The dental team will schedule a follow-up appointment about a week or two after the surgery to make sure that your gums are healing properly.

We recommend applying ice packs to reduce pain and swelling, eating soft foods for the first few days of healing, avoiding hot liquids and hard foods, and refraining from any physical activity. 

If you’re experiencing any symptoms of bone loss or you suspect that you have jawbone loss, schedule an appointment with us at Stoney Trail Dental as soon as possible. We want to prevent further complications, help you restore the functionality of your teeth and gums, and support your facial structure.


Medically reviewed by Dr. Gurshant Grewal - a Registered Dentist on May 17, 2022

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