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. In these situations, most patients are not candidates for placement of dental implants.
Today, we 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 allows us to restore functionality and aesthetic appearance. In many cases, we use an allograft material derived from bovine bone to promote your own bone growth in the repair site. It is quite effective and very safe.
Ridge preservation is grafting with allograft material immediately following
tooth extraction. Granulated bone is packed in the remaining void to build
more vertical space for implant placement.
A Particulate Onlay Graft using allograft material or a Block Onlay Graft using
a donor site (most commonly from the wisdom tooth area) is used to build
bone horizontally for more available width for implant placement.
Sinus Graft Procedure
The maxillary sinuses are behind your cheeks and on top of the upper teeth. Sinuses are like empty rooms that have nothing in them. 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 called a sinus augmentation. The dental implant surgeon enters the sinus from where the upper teeth used to be. The sinus membrane is then lifted upward and 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.
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. The sinus augmentation is performed first, the graft will mature for several months, and then the implants can be placed.