Block Grafting

If teeth have been missing for a long period of time then there are no teeth loading the bone. The bone will shrink and oftentimes you are left with a knife edge ridge which is not wide enough to place implants. When this occurs we need to re-grow the bone width. If the amount of bone loss is very large, or very extensive simple ridge augmentation may not be enough. In this instance your Periodontist may recommend block grafting.

A block graft is simply a single large block of bone which is fixated (screwed) to the ridge and allowed to integrate as all bone grafts do. A good analogy is Lego bricks which snap together, only with block grafting we are fixing a block of bone to the ridge. The block needs to heal for 5-8 months prior to implant placement.

block graftingblock grafting

There are three sources for obtaining the block:

  1. The chin
  2. The ramus
  3. Donor banks

Chin Block

With a chin block the gums are reflected all the way down to expose the chin. A block of bone is removed from the chin and fixated to the ridge where the implants will go. About 30% of the time there is some parasthesia (tingling) of the lower front teeth, and sometimes sensation never returns (this is rare).

chin block grafting

chin block grafting

Ramus Block

With a ramus block the gums and cheek are reflected back behind the last tooth on the lower arch. A block of bone is removed and fixated to the ridge where the implants will go. Large blocks of bone can be obtained from the ramus but post-operative pain and swelling can be a problem.

ramus block graftingramus block graftingramus block grafting

Donor Bank Blocksdonor bank block grafting

Large (and even very large) blocks of bone can be obtained from donor banks. This is also called the Puros block graft. Like all processed bone it is 100% safe and has a well proven record of integration. But the biggest advantage of Puros block graft is that there is no donor site! This saves the patient significant post-operative pain and swelling as well as giving a predictable block of bone every time. The only disadvantage is the additional cost of obtaining the block from the donor banks. Because we prefer this method we only charge the additional material costs without any markup because we want to make this available to patients. Most patients find any additional costs are well worth it in terms of accelerated post-operative healing.


Pam L. (Periodontal patient)
Jun 29, 2014


Due to the severity of my dental needs, my regular dentist referred me to Dr. Engen’s office. Being referred to a periodontal specialist is not something I would wish upon anyone, and it was difficult going to another dentist. However, from the minute I entered their office I was greeted by professional, friendly staff members who acknowledged me with a warm smile and a pleasant, cheerful welcome. The doctors and hygienists demonstrated a high level of expertise and technical competency by effectively communicating the options available to address my dental needs. Each and every staff member I encountered, from the receptionist, to the doctors are extremely dedicated to creating a long term relationship with each one of their patients, including taking the time to educate each patient about oral hygiene. The staff at your office works harmoniously, cooperatively and effectively as a team to make your time with them as productive as possible. I would highly recommend this office to anyone seeking resolution to any dental issues and be assured you will be pleasantly surprised with your time with them.

Jacob S. (Orthodontic patient)
Jun 29, 2014


Everyone I met always had the time to talk and make sure all of my needs were met. When I called the staff made sure I left satisfied, no matter what. I actually will miss going in for appointments!