Successful placement of dental implants requires sufficient bone strength, volume and structure. When missing or damaged teeth have been left untreated, the surrounding jawbone often will begin to deteriorate. This deterioration often results in significant decreases in the quality and quantity of bone in the jaw, complicating or even ruling out the placement of dental implants to restore your mouth.
Using advanced technology, we are able to replace and regenerate bone where it is needed. There are multiple techniques used for bone grafting, depending on the location and specific needs of each patient’s case.
Socket Regeneration and Minor Bone Grafting
Generally, when we remove a tooth that is in a site planned for a future implant, we advise performing a socket regeneration graft into the site. This procedure utilizes bone graft material into the socket of an extracted tooth. A membrane is then placed over the graft to protect the bone graft and guide the healing of the gum tissue. By placing graft material within the socket, we help to prevent bone loss from the extraction site and maintain an ideal site for a future dental implant. The graft material is very safe and effective, and more importantly it prevents having to take your own bone (thus adding another surgical site).
Autograft: using your own bone
In some cases, where a significant amount of bone is needed, an autograft is the appropriate graft. In this procedure we use your own bone for grafting. Your own bone has the best healing qualities – because it includes living cells that increase bone growth –but this technique comes with the compromise of a second surgical site. We will generally harvest bone from different areas of the jaw. In rare cases where a large bone graft is required, we may take bone from your hip or tibia (lower leg). These surgeries are usually performed in the operating room at your local hospital.
Sinus Grafting Procedure
The maxillary sinuses are located behind your cheeks and above your upper teeth. Sinuses are essentially empty cavities. However, because of their close proximity to the mouth, roots of the upper teeth may extend up into the sinus cavity. When a patient has upper teeth removed, there is often inadequate bone remaining between the mouth and the maxillary sinus to support a dental implant. In these cases, we perform what is called a sinus lift.
During a sinus lift, the sinuses are accessed from the upper jaw, where the tooth (or teeth) has been removed. The sinus membrane is lifted upwards and a bone graft is inserted into the planned implant location. In most cases the implant procedure is done in conjunction with the sinus lift.
Schedule an appointment with Tahoe Oral Surgery and Implant Center to speak with Drs. Martin and Appelblatt for more information regarding your case and whether a bone graft may be needed.