Major & 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, most patients are not candidates for placement of dental implants, without some help.
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 gives us a chance to restore functionality and aesthetic appearance. We can perform minor surgery to areas of bone loss to gain additional bone volume and quality in areas that were otherwise deficient. These procedures are usually an easy experience, are well tolerated and can be performed in the office with local anesthesia or IV sedation. We can now make implant placement possible in areas where there previoulsy was insufficient bone support.
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 or other areas. Sinus bone grafts (sinus lifts) are also performed to replace bone in the posterior (back) upper jaw. In addition, special membranes may be utilized that dissolve under the gum and protect the bone graft and encourage bone regeneration. This is called guided bone regeneration or guided tissue regeneration. Most bone grafting is minor bone grafting to small areas of deficient jaw bone.
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 may be repaired using the patient’s own bone or bone from a tissue bank. Your own bone could be harvested from a number of different sites depending on the size of the defect. The skull (cranium), hip (iliac crest), and lateral knee (tibia), are possible donor sites if necessary. These procedures are usually performed in an office setting, but may be performed in an operating room and possibly require a hospital stay.