Bone and Soft Tissue Grafting

The closest alternative to your natural teeth.
Bone and soft tissue (gum) grafting are advanced oral surgical procedures that can help restore the function, aesthetics, and health of your smile. These procedures involve transferring healthy bone or soft tissue from one part of your body to another to replace missing or damaged tissue. Philadelphia Oral Surgeon, Dr. Cyndi Nguyen, DDS, FAGD, and her team of experienced oral surgeons offer a range of bone and gum grafting procedures to help you achieve optimal oral health.

What is Bone and Soft Tissue Grafting?

Bone and soft tissue grafting are surgical procedures that involve transplanting healthy bone or soft tissue from one part of the body to another. These procedures are typically used to restore missing or damaged bone or soft tissue in the mouth, jaw, or face. 

At Philadelphia Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Dr. Nguyen and her team use the latest techniques and dental technology to perform bone and soft tissue grafting procedures with the highest level of precision and safety.

Benefits of Bone & Soft Tissue Grafting

There are many reasons to undergo a grafting procedure when necessary. Some of the significant benefits of bone and soft tissue grafts include:

  • Improved Aesthetics: Grafting procedures provide a more natural appearance to the mouth by filling in gaps or restoring receded gums.
  • Improved Oral Function: Grafting procedures can improve oral function by restoring lost or damaged tissues, allowing for better chewing, speaking, and overall oral health.
  • Improved Oral Health: Grafting procedures can help prevent further bone loss and gum recession, which can lead to tooth loss and other oral health problems.
  • Increased Stability of Dental Implants: Bone grafting can provide a solid foundation for dental implants, increasing their stability and longevity.
  • Reduced Risk of Complications: Soft tissue grafting can help reduce the risk of complications such as infection, implant failure, and other dental problems.
  • Enhanced Comfort: Soft tissue grafting can help alleviate discomfort caused by exposed tooth roots or other dental problems.
  • Reduced Sensitivity: Soft tissue grafting can help reduce tooth sensitivity caused by receding gums, making eating and drinking more comfortable.

Types of Bone and Soft Tissue Grafting Procedures

There are several types of grafting procedures that may be recommended depending on your specific needs. Some of the most common types of bone grafting procedures include:

  • Autografts: Autografts involve transplanting bone from one part of your body to another. This is often done using bone or soft tissue from the jaw, hip, or shin.
  • Allografts: Allografts involve transplanting bone from a donor. This tissue is typically taken from a tissue bank and screened for safety before use.
  • Xenografts: Xenografts involve transplanting bone from an animal source. This is a less common type of grafting procedure.
  • Synthetic grafts: Synthetic grafts involve using materials such as ceramics, polymers, or hydroxyapatite to replace missing or damaged bone.

  The most common types of soft tissue grafts include:

  • Connective Tissue Grafts: These grafts are taken from the roof of the mouth and used to cover exposed tooth roots or to fill in areas of missing gum tissue.
  • Free Gingival Grafts: Similar to connective tissue grafts, free gingival grafts are taken from the roof of the mouth and used to thicken the gums or cover exposed tooth roots.
  • Pedicle Grafts: In a pedicle graft, a flap of gum tissue is partially cut and pulled over to cover an exposed tooth root. The flap remains attached to the gum tissue at one end, which allows it to maintain its blood supply during the healing process.

The Bone and Soft Tissue Grafting Process

Initial Consultation

Before your grafting procedure, Dr. Nguyen and her team will have you attend an initial consultation. During your consultation, they’ll evaluate your oral health, discuss your goals and concerns, and develop a customized treatment plan. They’ll also review your medical history to ensure that there are no conditions or medications that could interfere with the grafting procedure. Your consultation is a great time to ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have.


You’ll be given preoperative instructions that include avoiding certain medications, fasting for a certain period, and arranging for transportation to and from the dental office. Once you arrive for the appointment, the surgical site will be sterilized to reduce the risk of infection. 

Bone & Soft Tissue Grafting

We’ll apply a local anesthetic to the future surgical site to numb you to any pain. For patients who are feeling nervous or need extra help getting numb, we can offer sedation dentistry options. Once you’re numb, Dr. Nguyen will begin the grafting process. 

For a soft tissue graft, the healthy soft tissue will be carefully placed into the damaged area and secured in place with sutures. For a bone graft, The bone graft will be carefully placed into the damaged area of the jawbone and secured in place with screws, pins, or wires. The incision will be closed using stitches or surgical staples.

Dental operating room

Bone and Soft Tissue Grafting Maintenance

The best way to ensure the success of your graft is to follow the instructions given by your oral surgeon. Some common aftercare instructions for both bone and soft tissue grafting procedures include the following:

  1. Take any prescribed pain medication as directed to manage discomfort.
  2. Apply ice packs to the affected area for 10-20 minutes at a time to reduce swelling.
  3. Avoid touching or poking the surgical site with your fingers or tongue to avoid infection.
  4. Eat soft foods and avoid hard, crunchy, or spicy foods for several days after surgery.
  5. Avoid smoking and using tobacco products for at least a week after surgery, as it can slow down the healing process and increase the risk of complications.
  6. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle brushing techniques to clean your teeth and the surgical site.
  7. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times a day to keep the surgical site clean and promote healing.
  8. Attend all follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider to monitor your healing progress and identify any potential complications.
  9. Be gentle with the surgical site and avoid any strenuous physical activity or heavy lifting for at least a week after surgery.
  10. Take any antibiotics as prescribed to reduce the risk of infection.

It's important to note that these instructions may vary depending on the specific type of grafting procedure you have undergone and your individual healing needs. Always follow the specific aftercare instructions provided by your healthcare provider to ensure the best possible outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions

While you may experience some discomfort and swelling after your grafting procedure, your oral surgeon will take steps to minimize pain and ensure your comfort throughout the process. They’ll likely prescribe pain medication after your graft to ensure you can heal comfortably.
The healing time for a bone or soft tissue graft can vary depending on the size and location of the graft, as well as the patient's overall health. However, with the advanced techniques used by our oral surgeon and skilled dental team, many patients can return to their normal activities within a few days to a week after their grafting procedure.
As with any surgical procedure, there are some risks associated with bone and soft tissue grafting, including infection, bleeding, and nerve damage. However, your oral surgeon and dental team take every precaution to minimize these risks and ensure the safest possible outcomes for their patients. They’ll also give you instructions on proper aftercare to help ensure the graft succeeds.
In some cases, bone and soft tissue grafting can be done on patients with gum disease to help improve oral health and prevent further damage. However, the underlying gum disease will need to be treated before the grafting procedure can be performed.

Restore Your Smile with Bone and Soft Tissue Grafting: Schedule a Consultation Today!

Looking to restore the health, function, and aesthetics of your smile? Bone and soft tissue grafts are advanced oral surgical procedures that can help. At Philadelphia Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, our experienced team, led by Dr. Cyndi Nguyen offers gum and bone grafting procedures using the latest techniques and technology to ensure optimal outcomes for our patients.

If you're interested in learning more about how grafting procedures can benefit you, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Philadelphia Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery by dialing 215-273-3223. We serve new and returning patients from Philadelphia and surrounding areas such as Springfield, Kensington, and Levittown, PA. 

"Amazing experience as soon as you walk through the door. Dr. Nguyen and her team went above and beyond to make my implant procedure painless and seamless..."
T.T, DEc, 2022

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