Bone Grafting

Healthy, natural teeth stimulate the jaw bone and prevent resorption.  When the jaw bone is missing teeth, resorption of the bone occurs. This often leaves a jaw bone which has poor quality and quantity of bone which prevents dental implant placement.  A bone graft is typically done to increase the height, width, or preserve bone prior to dental implant placement.  Bone grafting restores the natural anatomy which allows dental implants to be placed in the proper, functional position. Dr. Rahn and Dr. Curiel are Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons who specialize in minor and major bone grafting techniques. 

Minor Grafts

For smaller defects, guided bone regeneration is used.  The most common type of minor graft is socket preservation.  This is done immediately after a tooth extraction to prepare the site for a dental implant.  This helps preserve the height and width of bone associated with an extraction site.  Material for this procedure include freeze dried bone (tissue bank bone), bovine bone, synthetic substitutes and membranes which cover the bone graft. The graft material and membrane are resorbed over time and is replaced by new bone.  

Sinus Lift

The maxillary sinuses are air filled cavities lined with a membrane which are located above the upper posterior teeth.  When upper teeth are removed and no grafting techniques are performed, the bone height can decrease over time due to downward pressure of the sinus cavity.  This downward pressure can cause a significant amount of bone loss, making implant placement impossible a sinus lift. The sinus lift involves elevating the sinus membrane, internally or externally,  and placing bone graft on the sinus floor.  This is allowed to heal for approximately 4-6 months. Once the graft is mature, implants can be placed.

Major Grafts

Large bone defects can require an autogenous graft, or use of your own bone.  These larger defects are typically caused by traumatic injuries, congenital defects, removal of tumors, or loss of teeth at an early age.  Autogenous bone can be obtained from different parts of the body, depending on how much bone is required to repair the defect.  Sites such as the chin or the posterior jaw can be used for smaller defects.  Larger defects require a substantial amount of bone which is typically taken from the hip.  

Office Phone: (559) 435-7993