Major and Minor Bone GraftingOver a period of time, the jaw bone associated with missing teeth atrophies or is reabsorbed. This often leaves a condition in which there is poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for placement of dental implants. In these situations, most patients are not candidates for the placement of dental implants without bone grafting. This not only gives us the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width, it also gives us a chance to restore functionality and esthetic appearance.
Major Bone Grafting
Bone grafting can repair implant sites with inadequate bone structure due to previous extractions, gum disease or injuries. The bone graft material is either obtained from a tissue bank or your own bone is taken from the jaw, hip or tibia (below the knee). Dr. Lee will help you make this decision as there are many options available. Sinus bone grafts are also performed to replace bone in the posterior upper jaw. In addition, special membranes may be utilized that dissolve under the gum and protect the bone graft and encourage bone regeneration.
This is called guided bone regeneration or guided tissue regeneration. Major bone grafts are typically performed to repair defects of the jaws. These defects may arise as a result of traumatic injuries, tumor surgery, or congenital defects. Large defects are repaired using the patient’s own bone. This bone is harvested from a number of different sites, depending on the size of the defect. Dr. Lee can discuss them with you. These procedures are routinely performed in an operating room and require a hospital stay.
Sinus Lift ProcedureThe maxillary sinuses are behind your cheeks and on top of the upper teeth. Some of the roots of the natural upper teeth extend up into the maxillary sinuses. When these upper teeth are removed, there is often just a thin wall of bone separating the maxillary sinus and 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.The solution is a sinus lift. The sinus is surgically entered where the upper teeth used to be. The sinus membrane is then lifted upward and donor bone is inserted into the floor of the sinus. Keep in mind that the floor of the sinus is the roof of the upper jaw. After several months of healing, the bone becomes part of the patient’s jaw and dental implants can be inserted and stabilized in this new sinus bone. If enough bone between the upper jaw ridge and the bottom of the sinus is available to stabilize the implant, sinus augmentations and implant placement can sometimes be performed as a single procedure. If not enough bone is available, the sinus augmentation will have to be performed first, then the graft will have to mature for several months, depending upon the type of graft material used. Once the graft has matured, the implants can be placed.
In severe cases, the ridge has been reabsorbed and a bone graft is placed to increase ridge height and/or width. This is a technique used to restore the lost bone dimension when the jaw ridge gets too thin to place conventional implants. In this procedure, the bony ridge of the jaw is literally expanded by mechanical means. Bone graft material can be placed and matured for a few months before placing the implant.
Minor Bone Grafting
Minor bone grafting is a procedure routinely performed to “augment” or “add to” any small or moderate amounts of jaw bone that may have been lost due to disease, infection, or trauma.
The procedure itself involves thoroughly preparing and cleaning the area, and adding bone graft materials, membranes, and growth factor proteins to stimulate the body’s own bone cells to help replace the lost area of bone.
It is commonly used to improve an area where bone has been lost prior to implant placement.
The technique can also be used to help maintain teeth that have had extensive bone loss.