What is bone grafting?
Lost or removed teeth cause bone resorption or deterioration.
To prevent this from happening, the gaps are replaced with dental implants to help in preserving bone. Deterioration and resorption leads to bone insufficiency and poor quality of the bone, which makes it unfit for dental implants. Such bone loss is not irreversible, lost bone can grow back or replaced using bone graft and later place dental implants. Satisfactory results can be achieved by correcting bone defects restoring facial contours and tissue.
If there are minor defects in the implant placement site they can be grafted and filled up with a synthetic or real bone. Gum tissue grows quicker than bone so there is a chance that it will percolate the bone graft causing its shrinkage. To prevent that from happening the graft is covered with a collagen membrane accelerating the regeneration of the bone. The membrane later dissolves. In some cases bone grafting can be done while doing an implant placement.
In cases where the bone loss is very severe, it is possible to transplant a piece of a bone taken from the chin or other bones. To keep the bone in place small titanium screws are used. In such cases the collagen membrane is also used to cover the bone so the bone’s growth is accelerated – the growth takes about 4 to 6 months. After this is completed, dental implants are ready to be placed in the bone. The bone needs about 4 months to fuse with the dental implants.
Replacing the upper jaw posterior teeth involves the risk of sinuses dropping into the gaps of the missing roots or teeth. When posterior teeth are lost or removed the sinuses and mouth are separated only with a thin piece of bone. So, for the dental implants to be held properly in place, they must be placed very securely.
There is also a special way of grafting bone done in cases of a very thin sinus wall. In such situations, the sinus of the floor must be delicately lifted, creating space for the grafting material. This way the gap is perfectly prepared for the dental implant. Within a few months, the bone is mature enough for the dental implants to be placed.
Sometimes the sinus lift and dental implant placement can be performed at the same time. For this to be possible, the bone between the bottom of the sinus and the ridge of the jaw must be sufficient enough to give the right amount of support. However, if the bone is insufficient, the graft must mature after performing the sinus lift and only then can the implants be placed.