For some people, bone loss after the removal or loss of teeth leaves them with inadequate bone to allow an implant to be placed conventionally. For these individuals, it may be necessary to increase the bone height and volume, which would involve an additional bone grafting procedure.
There are different types of bone grafting. We offer different choices as what you can have depends on your personal circumstance.
In the upper jaw above the back teeth, it is possible to increase the height of the bone available by creating new bone in the sinus. This procedure is called ‘sinus augmentation’.
It is a very predictable method by which new bone can be formed and allow implants to be placed. Without the general success of this technique, many patients would be unable to have implants in a part of the mouth where teeth are so commonly missing.
There are many ways in which bone can be added to, however one simple concept is to take a piece of bone from somewhere else and secure it as an ‘onlay’ graft to a deficient area. It then heals in a similar way to how a fracture would heal. The new piece of bone will slowly join to the underlying region and mature. The implants can then be placed in the ideal position to allow for a better aesthetic outcome.
Bone can be harvested from a number of sources such as the hip, chin and posterior regions of the lower jaw. New bone can take anything from 3 to 12 months before it is ready to receive dental implants. If you need a large volume of bone it will take longer to mature than a smaller amount.
For those who would prefer an easier, but slightly slower solution, there are other sources of bone-like materials available.
Guided Tissue Regeneration
Using this technique, slow moving bone cells are given time to fill a space by placing a barrier material between them and the fast moving cells of the soft tissues lining the mouth. The material forms a resorbable barrier that will disappear naturally a few months after it has done its work.