Bone Grafting for Tooth Implants

This involves the reconstruction of the lost bone volume with a material called a bone graft. Ingenuously, there are different types of grafting procedures that are used in preparation for, or in combination with tooth implants for the replacement of missing teeth. In the past, we used to harvest bone from other parts of the body such as the hip, but with advancements in biomaterial technology and techniques this is no longer necessary. Today, using biomaterials such as Anorganic Bovine Bone Mineral, Biphasic Calcium Sulfate, Bone Morphogenic Proteins (BMP-2) and Collagen often lead not only to predictable results, but also a quicker process and faster recovery, and can often be done at the same time as the tooth implants.

The most common types of grafts when replacing missing teeth that are used in our clinic include:

Socket Preservation: Having missing teeth leads to natural atrophy of the bone; placing a graft in the residual socket after an extraction helps preserve the shape of the jaw. The procedure is the simplest and most cost-effective form of bone grafting, and it facilitates tooth implant placement typically after a three month period of healing and consolidation.

Ridge Split: This is one of the two most common ways to restore bone width when replacing missing teeth. It involves splitting the narrow segment of the bone through the middle and expanding it outwards. A fixture is placed in between the two bony plates, and the gap is then filled with a suitable biomaterial.

Block Onlay Grafting: The other way to restore width is to attach a block of bone to the outer surface of the deficient jaw. The bone is usually harvested from the inside of the chin area under the front teeth, or from the very back areas of the upper or lower jaws. Fixation screws are used here to hold the onlay block graft in place, and those screws need to be removed prior to the placement of tooth implants.

Sinus Grafting: The sinus is a natural space in the upper jaw that is located above the back teeth. Being a protected space, it is an ideal area for bone grafting as it is less susceptible to external influences. It is a highly predictable procedure and is today regarded part of routine dental surgical care used to reconstruct the bone height in the back of the upper jaw, which allows for the placement of tooth implants that may often be done at the same time.

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Guided Bone Regeneration

Tooth implants may be placed in deficient bone to replace missing teeth, while the adjacent surrounds are regrown. This is known as Guided Bone Regeneration (GBR). The fixture is used to tent a collagen membrane creating a space under the soft tissue into which bone can grow. The membrane guides the regeneration of the bone adjacent to the fixture.

To find out more about bone grafting and aesthetic replacement of missing teeth with tooth implants, contact our Melbourne clinic today on (03) 8845 5400.