Bone Grafting

Major and Minor bone grafting

Over a period of time, the jawbone 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, patients may not be candidates for placement of dental implants. If you have questions about bone grafting call our Davis office at 530-753-0550.

Today, however, we have the ability to replace bone where needed in most instances. 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.

Bone grafting can repair implant sites with inadequate bone structure due to previous extractions, gum disease or injuries. The bone is either obtained from a tissue bank or your own bone is taken from the jaw, hip or tibia (below the knee.) Sinus bone grafts are also performed to replace bone in the posterior upper jaw. In addition, special membranes may be utilized protect the bone graft and encourage bone regeneration.

Major Bone Grafting

Major bone grafts are typically performed to repair large 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. The skull (cranium), hip (iliac crest), and lower leg (tibia), are common donor sites. These procedures are routinely performed in an operating room and require a hospital stay.

Sinus lift procedure

The maxillary sinuses are behind your cheeks and on top of the upper teeth. Sinuses are like empty rooms with a thin lining covering the walls and an opening into the nasal cavity. Some of the roots of the natural upper teeth extend up into the maxillary sinuses. When these upper teeth are removed, upon healing there is often just a thin wall of bone separating the maxillary sinus and the mouth. When the sinus floor is very thin, it is not possible to place dental implants in this bone.

There is a solution for this is a procedure called sinus augmentation or a sinus lift. For this procedure, the sinus is entered from near where the upper teeth used to be. The sinus membrane is lifted upward and bone is inserted into the floor of the sinus making it thicker in vertical dimension. After several months of healing, dental implants can be inserted into this new bone.

The sinus graft makes it possible for many patients to have dental implants, when years ago there was no other option other than wearing loose dentures.

In many instances, sinus augmentation and implant placement can 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 prior to implant placement.