Bone Grafting and Augmentation

Advances in implant dentistry have led to tremendous growth and research in the field of bone grafting and bone regeneration in the jawbones. Procedures to repair and grow new bone are now part dental implant treatment.

Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that replaces missing bone with a combination of your own bone, donor bone, or synthetic bone. This material not only replaces missing bone, but also helps your body form new bone. This new bone growth strengthens the grafted area by forming a bridge between your existing bone and the graft. Over time the newly formed bone will replace much of the grafted material.

Typically, a bone graft is require when potential dental implant sites do not have enough bone volume to support the appropriate sized implant. Bone loss can be cause by periodontal disease, long-term tooth loss, infections, trauma, and long-term denture wearing.

Normally, it can be determined if you will need a bone graft from your x-rays and CT scans prior to surgery, but in some cases it is not discovered until opening the implant site.

Once it is placed, the bone graft will help replace missing bone, stimulate bone formation and increase bone volume.

The Sinus Lift
Sometimes the sinuses (air cavities in the upper jaw) are enlarged and intrude on areas where dental implants have to be place. Dental implants cannot be place into the sinus because nothing would hold it into place. When we encounter this problem, we place bone or bone growth stimulating material into the sinus.

This procedure only affects the maxillary sinuses that are located just over the molar teeth in the upper jaw. When the maxillary sinus prevents the placement of an implant, an opening is made into the sinus and the bottom portion of the sinus is filled with bone. After a few months of bone formation, a dental implant can be place in solid bone in the sinus. Sometimes, there is enough bone to place the implants at the same time that the sinus lift procedure is done. This will save time.