Bone Grafting

Areas in the jawbone where teeth are missing can have inadequate or poor quality of bone due to atrophy and resorption. In the past, people with this problem were not candidates for dental implants. Today however, we have the ability to grow the bone in these areas to increase the success and longevity of dental implants.

When a tooth is extracted, it is important to preserve as much bone as possible in order to be able to place an implant in the future. A bone graft may be recommended at the time of extraction. Material used for bone grafting can be obtained from a tissue bank or from your own body (bone is taken from the jaw, hip or tibia). It is a relatively simple procedure which provides great results in preserving the jaw bone for future tooth replacement.

Advanced bone loss can be a problem in people who have been missing teeth for a longer period of time. In order to be able to place a dental implant in a jaw that is missing bone height and width a ridge augmentation surgery is necessary. This is the placement of bone grafting material described above to reconstruct the jaw bone. This is a process that can take several months to grow enough bone for the dental implant placement to be successful.

A Sinus Lift is another type of bone grafting procedure done when it is necessary to increase the amount of bone in the upper jaw. The teeth of the upper jaw are situated immediately under the sinus cavities. Some people have sinus cavities that dip down into the roots of these teeth. When these teeth are missing, the bone below the sinuses can be very thin – too thin to place a dental implant. A sinus lift is done to move the floor of the sinus higher and increase the bone depth of the bone in the upper jaw. This procedure must also be done and allowed to heal completely before placement of the implant.