Bone Grafting Procedures

Over a period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth atrophies or is resorbed. This often leaves a condition in which there is poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for placement of dental implants. In this situation, most patients are not candidates for placement of dental implants.

We now have the ability to grow bone 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 functionality and esthetic appearance. The bone graft procedures are referred to as:

Sinus lift procedure
This procedure involves elevating the sinus membrane and placing the bone graft onto the sinus floor, allowing implants to be placed in the back part of the upper jaw.

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

Nerve-repositioning
The inferior alveolar nerve, which gives feeling to the lower lip and chin, may need to be moved in order to make room for placement of dental implants to the lower jaw.

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 obtaining bone grafts. In the facial region, bone grafts can be taken from the lower jaw (in the area of the chin, the body of the jaw, the molar region or behind the last tooth). Newer, less invasive procedures can now also be used, utilizing the patients own stem cells to help regenerate bone as well as using platelet rich plasma to help with healing. 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.

These surgeries are normally performed in the office or outpatient surgical setting under IV sedation or general anesthesia. After surgery, bed rest is recommended for one day and limited physical activity for one week.