Bone Grafting

Over a period of time, the jaw bone and soft tissues associated with missing teeth atrophy or are resorbed. This often leaves a condition in which there is poor quality and quantity of bone and tissue suitable for placement of dental implants. In these situations, most patients are not candidates for placement of dental implants.

We now have the ability to replace bone and tissue 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 form, function and esthetics. Often, at the time of a tooth extraction, grafting may be suggested to minimize future bone and tissue loss, provide a stable foundation for future implant placement and to prevent unnatural appearances. The doctors will guide your care on an individual basis. Bone graft procedures are referred to as:

Ridge Preservation
This procedure involves placing bone graft at the time of tooth extraction to minimize bone loss and preserve bone height and width for future implant placement. It fills the void left after an extraction.

Sinus lift procedure
This procedure involves elevating the sinus membrane and placing the bone graft onto the sinus floor, allowing dental implants to be placed in the back part of the upper jaw. The additional bone thickness will provide the stability necessary to successfully place dental implants.

Ridge-augmentation
In severe cases, the jawbone ridge has been resorbed and a bone graft is placed to increase the ridge height and/or width.

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 bone grafts. 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 or the outer aspect of the tibia at the knee.

IV sedation or general anesthesia may be used for these procedures. After the surgery, bed rest is recommended for one day and limited physical activity for one week.

Some of the more extensive bone grafting procedures may require an inpatient hospitalization or outpatient same-day surgery center. This also depends on the patient’s medical condition. Each case is thoroughly evaluated and treatment recommendations are customized to the patient’s need.