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Bone Grafting

As teeth are lost, the jawbone associated with them atrophies or resorbs. As a result, dental implants are often unable to be placed due to inadequate bone quality and quantity. Patients in these situations may not be eligible for implant placement. In today's world, bone can be grown wherever it is needed. By doing so, we are not only able to place implants of the appropriate length and width, but also to restore functionality and esthetic appeal.

Dental Bone Graft

The use of bone grafting can be used to repair implant sites that have inadequate bone structure as a result of previous extractions, gum disease, or injuries. You can either obtain the bone from a tissue bank or take bone from your own hip, tibia or jaw (below the knee). Sinus bone grafts are also used to reconstruct the posterior upper jaw. Additionally, special membranes may be used that dissolve under the gum and protect the bone graft and encourage bone regeneration. The process is known as guided bone regeneration or guided tissue regeneration. In order to repair defects in the jaw, major bone grafts are typically performed. It is possible to develop these defects as a result of traumatic injuries, tumor surgeries, or congenital defects. The patient's own bone is used to repair large defects. This bone is harvested from a number of different sites depending on the size of the defect. The skull (cranium), hip (iliac crest), and lateral knee (tibia), are common donor sites. These procedures are routinely performed in an operating room and require a hospital stay.

Major Bone Grafting

Sinus Lift Procedure

Your maxillary sinuses are located behind your cheeks and on top of your upper teeth. Sinuses are empty space that have nothing in them. In some cases, the roots of natural upper teeth extend up into the maxillary sinuses. When these upper teeth are removed, only a thin bone wall separates the maxillary sinus from the mouth. Dental implants need bone to hold them in place. When the sinus wall is very thin, it is impossible to place dental implants in this bone.

Fortunately, there is a solution, which is called a sinus graft or sinus lift graft. The oral surgeon enters the sinus from where the upper teeth used to be. An artificial floor is then created by inserting donor bone beneath the sinus membrane. Keep in mind that the floor of the sinus is the roof of the upper jaw. It takes several months for the bone to heal and become part of the patient's jaw, which is then suitable for implant placement and stabilization.

Many patients can now have dental implants thanks to the sinus graft, when loose dentures were the only option years ago.

Sometimes, sinus augmentations and implant placement can be performed as a single procedure if there is enough bone between the upper jaw ridge and the bottom of the sinus to stabilize the implant well. Sinus Augmentation will have to be performed if there is insufficient bone, then the graft must mature for several months, depending on the graft material used. Implants can be placed once the graft has matured.

Ridge Expansion

Sometimes in severe cases, the ridge has been reabsorbed and a bone graft is performed to increase ridge height and/or width. When the jaw ridge gets too thin to place conventional implants then this technique is used to restore the lost bone dimension. The bony ridge of the jaw is literally expanded by mechanical means so bone graft material can be placed and matured for a few months before placing the implant.

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