Bone Grafting/Reconstructive Surgery

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.  We now have the ability to grow and place bone where it is 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 esthetic appearance. These procedures may be performed separately or together, depending upon the individual's condition. There are several areas of the body which are suitable for attaining bone grafts. In the maxillofacial region, bone grafts can be taken from inside the mouth, in the area of the chin or third molar region or in the upper jaw behind the last tooth. In more extensive situations, a greater quantity of bone can be attained from the hip or the outer aspect of the tibia at the knee.  One type of bone graft procedures is the maxillary sinus lift where this involves elevating the sinus membrane and placing the bone graft onto the sinus floor.  This allows for implants to be placed in the back of the upper jaw.  Another type of bone grafting procedure is called ridge-augmentation where a bone graft is placed to increase the ridge height and width.

Some people who need dental implants face a particular challenge if the jawbone near the implant site has deteriorated, or atrophied.

Bone grafts - usually taken from inside the mouth, chin, jaw, and in extreme cases, the hip or knee—can now be used to restore the affected area of the implant site.

Types of bone grafts include ridge-augmentation (used to heighten or widen an atrophied jaw ridge), a sinus lift (in which a bone graft is placed on the floor of the sinus), or nerve-repositioning (the nerve serving the lower lip is moved to make room for a lower jaw implant).

Treating denture wearers

In some cases, people who get dentures for the first time need to have their jaw bones restored using bone and soft tissue grafts.

This helps prevent future bone loss under the dentures.

Vestibuloplasty (which can be used if the patient has sufficient jaw bone) involves grafting tissue from the palate or thigh over the bone to provide a larger ridge. Implants may also be used to support a denture.

Soft tissue grafts

Some abnormalities, as well as advanced gum disease that cannot be treated periodontically or non-surgically, may require application of soft tissue grafts. Such procedures can be used to cover an exposed root or correct uneven gum lines.

Soft tissue grafts are small pieces of tissue taken from other areas and surgically implanted in the affected area. This helps to stop bone loss, the recession of gums, and even reduce pain-causing root sensitivity.