How to Choose Your Best Bone Graft Material

Beautiful dental restorations require a strong foundation. When placing dental implants, we need sufficient bone to support the implant through the strain of biting forces. If bone has degraded, bone grafting may be needed. Our oral surgeons are experienced in dental bone grafting using donor and patient-collected bone.

Learn about your options for bone graft material below. If you require this additional step before your dental implants, we’ll discuss options in detail before your procedure.

Why Are Bone Grafts Needed for Dental Implants?

Teeth apply pressure to the bones in the jaw each time you bite. This pressure and stimulation keep the bone healthy and strong. When a tooth is lost, the bone slowly begins to degrade. This is a very gradual process and can take months or years before the bone loss is pronounced. Bone can also be damaged during the extraction of a severely decayed tooth.

To place a dental implant, we need bone. Patients that have been without a tooth for an extended period often lack sufficient bone, both in quality and quantity. Bone grafts supply us with the quality bone needed for a successful implantation.

Bone structure is essential to facial structure. Grafting restores jawline contours for a full and healthy-looking lower face.

Do I Need a Bone Graft?

Bone grafts aren’t always needed for dental implants. The longer a tooth has been missing, the more likely a graft is needed. Patients with recent tooth loss often don’t require this procedure. We never recommend bone grafting if it isn’t necessary for functional or aesthetic results.

Where Do We Get Bone for Bone Grafting?

The bone we use for grafting comes from either a donor source or is harvested from the patient.

  • Donor Bone- Using bone from a donor eliminates the need for a second surgical site. We use donor bone from human or bovine (cow) sources. This bone is processed and sterilized before implantation and is obtained from a tissue bank.
  • Patient-Harvested Bone- Another source for bone is the patient. We often extract this bone from the lower jaw, either from the chin or behind the third molar area. This bone is obtained with minimal risk and without cosmetic deformity.

Which Bone Graft Type Is Best for Me?

The best bone graft material depends on many factors. We need an examination and consultation to determine your best treatment approach.

  • Tissue bank bone, either bovine or human, simplifies the grafting process. We can immediately start the graft, without having to harvest the tissue first. It speeds recovery since only one surgical site is created.
  • Patient-harvested bone is used most often in implant sites that require significant reconstruction.

We have an in-house 3D CT machine. This allows us to create detailed imaging of your existing bone anatomy. This information is used to determine if bone grafting is needed, and which graft materials are most appropriate.

Call Hill Country Oral Surgery to learn more about your options for dental implants and bone grafting in Austin, TX. Our phone number is 512-327-7233.


What to Do During an Oral Health Emergency

Do I need to see a dentist now? Can I wait until morning? The stress of an oral health emergency is often worsened by a lack of information about the best course of treatment. Treating most common dental emergencies starts with a trip to the dentist or oral surgeon. Call Hill Country Oral Surgery in Austin, TX at 512-327-7233. Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained and experienced in treating oral health emergencies and traumas.

Common Oral Emergencies and What to Do About Them

Oral health emergencies can occur at any time, day or night. Some are caused by trauma or injury. Others arise from complications from existing dental work or oral health conditions. Infection, pain, or damaged teeth are all signs of a potential dental emergency.

Treatment options and urgency vary, depending on the type of emergency. If you’re not sure, get in touch and we’ll help you determine if urgent treatment is needed or if you can safely wait for a few days or hours.

  • Soft Tissue Injuries- Soft tissue injuries include cuts and lacerations to the face and mouth. These are repaired by suturing. Our trained oral surgeons carefully suture soft tissue injuries to minimize the cosmetic impact of the injury. We also carefully examine the area to ensure that facial nerves, salivary glands/ducts, and other essential structures are not damaged.
  • Facial Fractures- Bone injuries to the face and jaw are treated similarly to bone injuries elsewhere on the body. The area is typically stabilized, allowing the bone to heal. We use different methods to accomplish stabilization including jaw immobilization, surgical plates, screws, etc. We always strive to maintain appearance as much as possible and minimize incisions and scars.
  • Knocked Out Teeth- A dislodged or avulsed (knocked out) tooth is a serious dental emergency. Prompt care is essential for the best treatment results. The sooner the tooth is reimplanted, the more likely it is to survive. If the tooth is knocked out, do not attempt the clean or rinse the tooth. Pick it up from the crown, not the root, place it in salt water or milk, and contact us immediately. If the tooth can’t be saved, dental implants can restore appearance and function to the area.
  • Chipped or Broken Teeth- See your dentist as soon as possible. We have many options for treating chipped or broken teeth. The best treatment depends on the type and extent of the damage.
  • Toothache- See your dentist as soon as possible. Treatment for a toothache is dependent on causes of the ache. In extreme cases, an extraction may be needed.
  • Lost or Damaged Dental Work- Lost or damaged fillings, bridges, and orthodontic braces require prompt dental treatment.
  • Infection- Oral infections can progress quickly and may cause damage to the teeth and soft tissues. In some cases, oral infections can spread to other parts of the body, creating a serious medical emergency. Contact your dentist as soon as possible.

We try to see emergency patients same-day whenever possible. Call us and we’ll get you in as soon as we can.

Preventing Oral Emergencies

A little prevention can dramatically reduce the frequency and severity of many oral injuries. Protect your beautiful smile!

  • See Your Dentist Regularly- Dental cleanings and exams can prevent tooth decay and infection. Ask your dentist about recommended frequencies for these important preventative visits.
  • Address Dental Problems- As dental problems occur, treat them. Infections and decay can spread, creating serious emergencies later.
  • Protect Your Mouth- Sports injuries are a common cause of oral health emergencies. Use appropriate oral protections, like mouth guards, when participating in activities where injury to the face may occur.

When an oral health emergency strikes, call Hill Country Oral Surgery in Austin, TX. Our skilled oral surgeons focus on providing exemplary patient care, during both regular and emergency visits. Our goal is a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile for every patient.