Over a period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth, gum disease or injuries atrophies or is reabsorbed. This often leaves a condition in which there is poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for placement of dental implants. In these situations, patients are not candidates for dental implants.
We now have the ability to grow bone where needed. This not only gives us the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width, it also gives us a chance to restore functionality and esthetic appearance. The bone graft procedures are described below as:
Sinus Lift Procedure
This procedure involves elevating the sinus membrane and placing the bone graft material onto the sinus floor in the location of previously extracted teeth.
If enough bone between the upper jaw ridge and the bottom of the sinus is available to stabilize the implant well, sinus augmentations and implant placement can sometimes be performed as a single procedure. If not enough bone is available, the sinus lift will have to be performed first, then the graft will have to mature. Once the graft has matured, the implants can be placed.
In severe cases the ridge has been reabsorbed and a bone graft is placed to increase the ridge height and/or width. This procedure is used to restore the lost bone when the jaw ridge gets too thin to place conventional implants. As with the Sinus Lift procedure if there exists sufficient bone available to stabilize the implant then the augmentation and implant placement can be performed as a single procedure.
These procedures may be performed separately or together, depending upon the individual’s condition. There are several areas of the body that are suitable for attaining bone grafts. In the maxillofacial region, bone grafts can be taken from inside the mouth, in the area of the chin or third molar region or in the upper jaw behind the last tooth. In more extensive situations, a greater quantity of bone can be attained from the hip.
These surgeries are performed in the our office surgical suite under I.V. sedation or general anesthesia. After discharge, bed rest is recommended for one day and limited physical activity for one week.