Over time, the alveolar bone (portion of the jawbones that contain the teeth), can shrink when there are missing teeth (A process called reabsorbtion). This often leaves a condition in which there is low quality and quantity of bone needed for placement of dental implants. Making many patients bad candidates for placement of implants.
Now, we have the possibility to grow bone where needed, giving us the opportunity to place implants, it also gives us a chance to restore the functionality and esthetic appearance of the person. There are different types bone grafting procedures:
In this procedure the maxillary sinus membrane is elevated and the bone graft is placed onto the sinus floor, allowing implants to be placed in the back part of the upper jaw.
If teeth have been missing for an extended period of time, the respective alveolar ridge (bone which supports teeth) has been reabsorbed. In such cases a bone graft is needed to restore the height and the width on the alveolar ridge before an implant can be placed.
Traumatic injuries can lead to the loss of teeth as well as their supporting bone. This could possibly compromise the placement of implants in the injured site. The lost bone can be replaced with a bone graft, facilitating the esthetic and functional restoration of the injured site.
The inferior aveolar nerve (the nerve to the lower lip and chin), may need to be moved in order to make room for placement of dental implants to the lower jaw.
These procedures may be performed separately or together, depending upon the individual's condition. There are several areas of the body, which are suitable for attaining or harvesting bone grafts. In the maxillofacial region, bone grafts can be taken from inside the mouth, in the area of the chin or third molar (wisdom teeth) 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 or tibia (Largest bone in the lower part of the leg).
These surgeries are performed in our out-patient surgical suite under I.V. sedation or general anesthesia. The hip bone harvesting is performed in the operating room setting.