Bone Grafting

Major & Minor Bone Grafting

Missing teeth over a period of time can cause your jaw bone to atrophy, or resorb. This often results in poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for the placement of dental implants as well as long term shifting of remaining teeth and changes to facial structure. Most patients in these situations are not candidates for dental implants.

Fortunately, today we have the ability to grow bone where it is needed. This not only gives us the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width, but it also gives us a chance to restore functionality and aesthetic appearance.

Minor Bone Grafting

Minor bone grafting can be performed to restore sites with inadequate bone structure due to previous extractions or gum disease. The bone is obtained from a tissue bank and placed in your jaw during a 30-minute procedure, which is easily performed in our office. The most common minor bone grafting processes are referred to as socket bone grafting and ridge augmentation. In addition, special membranes may be utilized that dissolve under the gum to protect the bone graft, as well as encourage bone growth. This is called guided bone regeneration, or guided tissue regeneration.

Major Bone Grafting

Major bone grafting is typically performed to repair defects of the jaws. These defects may arise as a result of traumatic injuries or tumor surgery, or be congenital defects. Smaller defects, such as inadequate bone between the upper jaw and the sinuses, are corrected by way of an in-office procedure called a sinus lift. Similar to minor bone grafting procedures, the bone for these a sinus lift is obtained from a tissue bank. Large defects are repaired using the patient’s own bone. This bone is harvested from a number of different areas depending on the amount needed. The skull (cranium), hip (iliac crest), and lateral knee (tibia), are common donor sites. These procedures are routinely performed in an operating room and require a hospital stay.