Seattle Dental Implants & Prosthodontics – Seattle, WA

What is bone grafting?

When a tooth is lost, a portion of jawbone specifically designed to hold the tooth resorbs away. The resorption starts from a side resulting in horizontal loss end up with vertical loss. This often leaves a condition in which there is poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for the placement of a dental implant. For patients experiencing lack of bone, an implant survival may be compromised.

In order to become a candidate for an implant, it will be necessary to replace the missing bone either at the time of the surgery or prior, depending on each patient’s situation. Bone grafting allows for successful implant placement with the proper length and width needed, as well as the opportunity to restore functionality and an aesthetic appearance.


One important thing about the bone grafting material is that the material itself is NOT becoming your own bone in most cases. It works as the scaffold absorbing your blood clot that has cells to differentiate into the bone forming cells. Barrier membrane is sometimes used to keep the grafting material to stay in place and block the gum tissue from growing into the area before the bone cells start working.

Types of Bone Grafts:

Autogenous bone grafts, also known as autografts, are made from your own bone.

For years, it was believed to be the best source of the graft; however, due to the higher absorption rate over time shown in the last 30+ years of track record, it is not necessarily true anymore. It is still used well when the mass anount is necessary to replace a big part of jawbone mainly as a block form.


Allogenic grafts are from human cadaveric source that are widely used for any grafting situation requiring particulate form.

Xenogenic grafts are derived from non-living bone from an animal source (usually a cow or pig).

Both allogenic and xenogenic graft materials are processed extensively to avoid the potential immune rejection and/or contamination.


There are other sources provided as an powder form to mimic the particulate bone granules such as synthetics or ground calcium blocks.

Our office uses mainly the mineralized allograft for all types of grafting situations. Dr. Chung has extensive training and experience with the grafting procedures and offer them selectively only for the best results for you.

Socket Preservation and Ridge Augmentation

Socket preservation is a common dental procedure performed most often following a tooth extraction to help minimizing the loss of pre-extraction bone dimensions.

When extraction is done, every effort is made to preserve the surrounding the bone for later possible implant placement. Even so, it is sometimes required to remove some bone for extraction of either curved roots or broken roots. If one or more wall has to be removed or broken during the extraction, the bone surrounding the socket may be unable to heal on its own. Ridge augmentation procedure is recommended using the bone graft and barrier membrane to avoid continual deterioration of the bony ridge.

While rebuilding the original height and width of the alveolar ridge is not medically necessary, it may be required for implant patients or aesthetic purposes. In the case of patients receiving full mouth extractions or multiple extractions followed by a temporary denture or partial, this procedure is not necessary. Yet, as mentioned before, a successful dental implant requires adequate bone to support the structure and therefore, ridge augmentation can help rebuild this bone to accommodate the implant.