Cost For A Dental Bone Graft | 4 Graft Types & Costs

3D render of dental bone grafting with bone biomaterial application

Bone grafting—also called augmentation—is a necessary dental procedure that dentists and dental specialists will use to help preserve teeth, repair areas of oral trauma, or prepare for dental implant placement. But the cost of dental bone grafting can affect the overall price of oral reconstruction or tooth replacement because of the separate fee involved. Understanding the cost of dental bone grafting (and whether it’s even truly necessary) will help you make an informed decision about budgeting your oral health needs.

What Are Dental Bone Grafts? 

A dental bone graft is when your dentist places real or synthetic bone particles inside or next to your existing bone tissues. The graft helps to re-build the bone density in that specific area, making your jaw stronger and thicker. That way, there’s a stable enough foundation to securely anchor a tooth, dental implant, or even a set of dentures.[1]

Grafted material fuses with the bone structure in that area, which then creates a new layer of bone on top of your existing bone. Since it isn’t possible to re-grow bone on your own, a bone graft is used to add to the area that’s lacking. However, many people do not consider the cost of dental bone grafting when they are planning an upcoming procedure like dental implants or ridge augmentation with their dentures, which can significantly impact the total cost of their care.

Why You Would Need A Dental Bone Graft? 

Dental bone grafts are not usually what’s considered an “optional” treatment for someone with bone loss. They are part of a comprehensive approach to treating your tooth and bone loss. Without bone grafting, even the highest quality of restorations or healthy teeth will not last.

Your dentist may require a dental bone graft if you fit any of the following scenarios:

  • You require a sinus lift (sinus augmentation)
  • Prior to placement of a dental implant
  • Bone ridge augmentation is necessary to properly fit your dentures
  • You have vertical bone loss, posing a risk to the teeth in your jaw
  • After treatment for chronic periodontal disease, to prevent tooth loss
  • At the time of a tooth extraction, to minimize bone resorption in that space
  • Treating a cyst in your bone or following a surgical tumor removal

Types Of Dental Bone Grafts     

There are usually four different categories of bone grafts you’ll see used in dentistry and oral surgery.[2] There are pros and cons to each one, depending on your budget and why you even need the graft performed:

1. Allografts 

Typical costs for dental allograft $300 to $1,200

This one might give you the heebie-jeebies, but it’s completely safe. Allografts are a type of dental bone graft that actually uses somebody else’s bone tissue from a human cadaver. This is usually someone who has passed away, similar to an organ donor. Cadaver bone is thoroughly screened by medical professionals.

2. Alloplasts

Typical costs for dental allograft $300 to $1,200

What if you could perform a bone graft without any bone at all? Alloplasts use synthetic graft materials that don’t use anybody else’s or animal’s bone.

3. Autografts

Typical costs for dental autograft $2,000 to $3,000

You can use your own bone for a bone graft, which is a big deal if there is serious reconstruction going on. Autografts used to be taken from that patient's own body like the hip bone, which required a separate medical surgery. However, there is now technology available in some dental offices where they actually take extracted teeth, grind up the root particles into a fine powder, and use those as the grafting material. Sound too simple to be true? Believe it or not, it works!

4. Xenografts

Typical costs for dental xenograft $300 to $1,200

This type of dental bone graft comes from an animal source. Typically, it’s a cow bone. The bovine bone is thoroughly sterilized and FDA-approved, so it’s completely safe to use in your mouth. Dentists place thousands of them every year.

Cost Of Dental Bone Grafts 

The type of grafting material used and the steps needed during placement (surgical, simple, after an extraction, etc.) will impact your dental bone graft cost. Some materials are more readily available or simple to place, so the fee is quite lower than others. For example, the type of graft where a surgeon removes bone from your own hip and then provides it to an oral surgeon for facial reconstruction is much more expensive than a simple bone graft placed immediately after a tooth extraction. [3]

Dental Bone Graft TypeTypical Cost
Allografts$300 to $1,200
Alloplasts$300 to $1,200
Autografts$2,000 to $3,000
Xenografts$300 to $1,200

Depending on where you live and the graft material your dentist is using, the dental bone grafting cost may be somewhere around $300 to $1,200. Whereas other bone grafts costs as much as $3,000.

Additional costs

Keep in mind that this does not include fees like the cost of:

  • X-rays -$20 to $100
  • Panoramic X-rays - $60 to $150
  • Full mouth X-rays - $85 to $250
  • CT scan - $600 to $1000
  • Dental exam - $50 to $300
  • Removal of the tooth before your bone graft - $75 to $650

If you’re budgeting for a $3,000 dental implant, these extra fees as well as the graft can easily add an additional $1,200 to your treatment plan. And if you’re like a lot of people who prefer to have your oral surgery completed under sedation, that may be an additional few hundred dollars on top of your other itemized fees. If you don't have dental insurance, it is a great idea to get dental savings plan to help save on the overall cost.

A savings plan to help offset up to 10% to 60% off the costs of procedures. Get a discount dental plan here and save!

Are Dental Bone Grafts Covered By Insurance?

Every single dental insurance policy is unique, so what one plan covers another might not (even if you’re working with the same carrier.) Even if your coverage does include benefits for the cost of dental bone grafts, if you exceed your annual benefits, you are still left paying for the service out of pocket. It’s “six of one and a half dozen of another,” as they say. Since your bone grafting will likely be combined with additional services like extractions, periodontal therapy, or dental implants, even the best insurance plans may have coverage that “runs out” before the full fee is covered under your policy.

The best way to determine your total out-of-pocket bone graft dental cost is to have your dental office collaborate with your insurer and work up an itemized treatment estimate. This will list out all of the fees, your expected coverage on each one, and how far your insurance will go (what will be covered) before you use up all of your benefits. At that point, you can determine if financing or a dental credit card is the next best option to pay for your bone graft.

The Cheapest Way To Get Dental Bone Grafts 

Dental care isn’t cheap, especially since insurance rarely covers your entire treatment plan. Thankfully there are reasonable steps you can take to reduce your out-of-pocket costs related to bone graft dental costs and related procedures. Here are just a few ideas to get you started: 

1. Go to a dental school.

Is there a dental college in your area? If so, you’re in luck! Dental students need patients just as much as you need a bone graft. The upper-level students perform a wide variety of expanded treatments like dental implant placement, surgical tooth removal, and, yes, bone grafting. The dental bone grafting cost at an actual dental school is usually about half of what you would pay in a private practice.

2. Use a payment plan or dental credit card.

Flexible financing or monthly payment plans can help you afford the cost of dental bone grafting without breaking the bank. Some options even allow you to make 0% interest payments for up to a year or longer, depending on your credit. Or you could join a discount membership plan at your dentist’s office for a fixed, flat discount on any of the services being rendered (including the bone graft.) You can combine payment plans with your dental insurance, but a membership program will be completely separate.

3. Ask about alternatives.

Your dentist may only recommend the “best” option, but they may have a backup plan available if the first choice doesn’t work.

Alternative To Dental Bone Grafts 

Bone grafts take specific situations and create the type of situation where patients can indeed restore their smiles or save their teeth. They act like an added layer of protection over an already weak mouth that can no longer support tooth roots (or dental implants.) If you’re dead set against a bone graft, your options are extremely limited. But that doesn’t make all treatments completely impossible. You might still have options like relining your denture to get a higher, tighter base against your gums. Or maybe your dentist is open to placing mini dental implants or zygomatic dental implants, both of which require little “alveolar arch” (the bone on top of your jaw ridge) for support. Alternative implant designs still give you the choice of denture stabilization or fixed implants without necessarily needing a traditional implant with a bone graft.

If you’re opposed to a dental bone graft for personal beliefs—even one that uses your own human bone or tooth tissues—a synthetic bone material is honestly your next best choice. Otherwise, it may not be possible to perform the oral reconstruction whatsoever.

What To Expect From Dental Bone Graft Procedure 

Investing in dental bone grafts can give you the peace of mind that you’re doing the very best you can to preserve your smile. Especially if you’re at a high risk of tooth loss because of past periodontal disease, struggle with a loose, uncomfortable denture, or really have your heart set on getting dental implants. [4]

When you get a dental bone graft, it’s usually combined with another procedure, such as an extraction or a sinus lift. The entire area is numbed up so that you won’t feel the graft being placed (aside from maybe a little bit of pressure.) If there is any discomfort, it will be from adjunctive steps such as removing a tooth or making a small incision in the gum tissues. Otherwise, recovery from a bone graft procedure is extremely simple and easy to manage. It’s best to take medication as prescribed and avoid chewing on that side of your mouth for a week or so.

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