Often, after a period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth atrophies or shrinks. This can leave a condition in which there is poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for placement of dental implants. Previously, patients with this condition were not candidates for dental implants. However, we now have the ability to grow bone where needed. These bone grafting procedures give us the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width, as well as ensure functionality and esthetic appearance.
Sinus Augmentation (or Lift) procedure
This procedure involves elevating the sinus membrane and placing the bone graft into the sinus floor which will allow implants to be placed in the back part of the upper jaw when teeth have been removed and bone loss has occurred. Often times, the implants can be placed at the time the sinus lift is performed.
Ridge-augmentation with Onlay Grafting
In severe cases, the ridge has been reabsorbed and a bone graft is placed to increase the ridge height and/or width. In these situations, the graft is taken from another area inside your mouth. This is an office procedure and is usually performed using a conscious sedation and takes approximately 1 ½ - 2 hours.
These procedures may be performed separately or together, depending upon the individual’s condition. There are several areas of the body which are suitable to 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 regions. In more extensive situations, a greater quantity of bone can be attained from the hip, which would be performed as an out-patient hospital procedure under general anesthesia.