In order to place a dental implant, a sufficient amount of bone height and width is necessary to allow adequate implant placement.
When a patient loses one or several of his teeth, a progressive loss or bone resorption occurs within the jaw bones. Other factors may accelerate this bone loss such as gum disease, certain systemic conditions, tobacco, use of dentures and certain medications.
Bone grafting allows us to regenerate and/or preserve the bone level and to re-establish an adequate bony architecture to place implants and obtain ideal functional and esthetic results. Depending on the situation at hand, the bone graft may be completed at the same time as the implant placement or at times prior to its placement.
The majority of bony defects can be corrected using various types of bone grafting materials (human or animal). In certain cases, using your own bone is the best option. The most common area where the bone graft is collected is the inferior jaw. Other sites may be envisioned if a larger volume of bone is needed.
If a tooth is to be extracted, a socket preservation may be recommended in order to decrease the chances of bone resorption (loss). This will allow for the implant to be placed several months later without having to have recourse to furthermore extensive bone grafting. However, there are times where more bone grating prior to implant placement may be necessary.
When planning implant placement in the posterior regions of the maxilla (upper jaw), there are times where the bone height may be insufficient and the position of the maxillary sinus may hinder implant placement. In order to re-establish adequate bone height, a sinus lift may be necessary. This procedure is performed commonly under local anesthesia and consists of lifting the sinus membrane and securing its newly formed position using a variety of bone grafting materials within the floor of the sinus.
After a period of 4 to 6 months, the sites will be re-evaluated and planned accordingly for implant placement. At times, a sinus lift may be performed at the same time as the implant placement.
The majority of bone defects may be corrected using a variety of bone materials both from human or animal sources. In certain cases, however, the patient’s own bone may be necessary, and in the majority of times, the bone is obtained from the lower jaw. There are times where other sites may be necessary if a greater volume of bone is needed, however, this is case dependent.