Bone Grafting

What is it

Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that establishes support for a dental implant by replacing missing jaw bone from the opening created by an extracted or removed tooth.

When a tooth has been removed or extracted, the extracted root creates an opening.

Consequently, the supporting bone underneath gradually collapses, and bone becomes lost. Forty percent of the original amount of bone may be lost in as little as six months and will continue to deteriorate with time.

When bone-loss reaches a level where dental implants are not possible, bone grafting is used to rebuild bone for anchoring a dental implant or replacement tooth.

How is it done
  • The gums are cut in order to make a flap.
  • This flap is pulled back in order to expose the bone underneath.
  • A bone substitute is placed to fill the areas of bone loss. Materials include: synthetic bone, animal bone (cow), donated bone, and your own bone.
  • A membrane is then used to cover the area, prevent the gums from growing into the spaces, and keep the shape of the new bone.
  • The flap is placed back to cover the area and stitched into place.
  • The membrane will resorb with time and depending on the type of bone graft used, the bone should mature within 6 to 10 weeks.

Once the graft is placed, your body will remove the fill in the area with its own new bone, resulting in bone regeneration and a strong foundation for a replacement tooth. With successful bone regeneration, normal spacing between teeth and the attached gum tissue will also be restored.

Ridge Expansion

A ridge expansion enhances the amount of bone present at the site of a missing tooth, thereby permitting placement of a dental implant.

When is it needed/Risks of not getting it done?
  • When a tooth is extracted, the bone that had previously anchored that tooth will be resorbed by the body over time. A ridge expansion is necessary when this bone is not high or wide enough to support a dental implant.
  • If left untreated, bone may continue to be resorbed by the body and the pocket will progressively deepen.
How is it done ?
  • First, an incision is made in the gum to reveal the jaw ridge
  • The jaw ridge is then separated and bone grafting material is placed into the newly created space
  • The gum tissue is then sutured together

Once the bone graft material has become well integrated into the jaw bone (typically within a few months following the surgery) the dental implant will be placed.

Sinus Lift

A sinus lift, or sinus augmentation, is when bone is added to the area above your molars and premolars to increase the amount of upper jaw bone, thereby serving as an appropriate foundation for dental implants.

In order to proceed with dental implants, a sinus lift is likely required for patients who have missing teeth in the upper back jaw bone region, who have major jaw bone loss, and/or who have a sinus too close to the base of the upper jaw bone.

How is it done
  • First, an incision is made in the gums of the upper back jaw bone region and the gum tissue is reflected to expose the underlying bone.
  • Next, a very small opening in the bone is created and bone graft material is added to the area, essentially “liftin” the sinus.
  • Lastly, the gum tissue is sutured back together.
  • After 7-10 days, you will come back into the office to assess the area and remove the stitches if they have not dissolved.
  • To proceed with dental implant placement, a waiting period of approximately four to nine months is necessary to allow the bone graft material to fully integrate into the upper jaw bone.