A jawbone with missing teeth will atrophy or reabsorb over time, which can often leave poor quantity and quality of bone suitable for dental implant placement. This often makes patients not ideal candidates for implants, but bone grafting gives us the ability to grow bone where needed in order to restore functionality and aesthetic appearance.
Major Bone Grafting
Implant sites with insufficient bone structure as a result of injury, gum disease, or previous extractions can be repaired by bone grafting. The bone can be taken from either a tissue bank or the patient’s own bone from the jaw, hip, or tibia in the case of larger jawbone defects. In a process called guided bone regeneration, special membranes that dissolve under the gum and protect the bone graft can be used.
Sinus Lift Procedure
Your maxillary sinuses are empty cavities behind your cheeks and above your upper teeth. Some of the roots of the upper teeth extend into the sinuses and when these teeth are removed, there is often only a thin wall of bone separating the sinus and the mouth. When the sinus wall is this thin, it’s impossible to place dental implants in that bone.
A sinus graft or a sinus lift graft is used to repair this issue. The sinus membrane is lifted in order for donor bone to be inserted in the floor of the sinus, or the roof of the upper jaw. The bone will become part of the patient’s jaw after several months of healing and finally dental implants can be inserted and stabilized in the new sinus bone.
A bone graft may be placed in the jaw ridge to increase height and/or width if the ridge has been reabsorbed. Ridge expansion is used in order to restore lost bone dimension when the jaw ridge becomes too thin to place dental implants. The bony ridge of the jaw is expanded and bone graft material is placed to mature for a few months to stabilize before placing the implant.