Bone Grafting

If you are considering implants, your mouth must be examined thoroughly and your medical and dental history reviewed. If your mouth is not ideal for implants, was of improving the outcome, such as bone grafting may be recommended. 

A bone graft may be needed in areas where bone is missing. A surgical procedure, bone grafting replaces missing bone and aids in the re-growth of new bone by placing material from the patient’s own body or an artificial, synthetic or natural substitute into the area where bone existed. The new bone growth strengthens the grafted area by forming a bridge between the existing bone and the graft material. Over time, new bone growth will replace much of the grafted material.

Bone grafts are most commonly used to restore or regenerate bone as needed prior to the placement of bridges or implants.

Sinus Lift

A sinus lift can make it possible for many patients to have dental implants placed in the upper posterior of the mouth. It is a surgical procedure that adds bone to the upper part of the jaw.

When a back tooth is lost in the upper part of the jaw, the floor of the maxillary sinus drops down into the space that was occupied by the root of the missing tooth. For an implant to be placed in that space, the sinus floor must be pushed back up to where it was originally by adding a bone substitute to hold the sinus floor in place. After several months of healing, the bone substitute becomes part of the patient’s jaw and dental implants can then be inserted into the stabilized bone.

Socket Preservation

Socket preservation is a procedure to help reduce bone loss after a tooth has been extracted. Studies show that bone loss in the alveolar ridge bone in the first 12 months after extraction can be as much as 50%. This bone loss can result in alignment issues with your teeth and complications in placing dental implants.

Socket preservation can take place immediately following the tooth extraction. Once the tooth is removed, bone-grafting material is placed into the socket. To repair the socket and encourage bone growth, we place a collagen membrane on top.

Ridge Augmentation

The contour of your jawbone and gums and where they meet your teeth is known as the ridge. If you have periodontal disease that goes untreated, it can eventually cause this bone deterioration and tooth loss. Sometimes when a tooth is lost, your jawbone is reabsorbed because it is not needed to hold a tooth in place. This reabsorption causes an indentation in the tooth’s place, which looks very irregular.

The indentation also makes any dental implant or restoration look odd because the gums do not touch the implant or restoration. This causes the implant or restoration to also appear “longer” than the patient’s natural teeth.

In order to correct the contours of your jaw and gums, a ridge augmentation is needed. A ridge augmentation involves expanding the ridge mechanically and then applying a bone graft. The bone graft builds up the ridge, adding substance to the indentation. The bone graft will need to attach and grow for a few months, and then a dental implant or restoration can be put in to replace the lost tooth.