There are a wide variety of reasons why a bone graft may be necessary. Bone grafting thickens the jawbone to allow for the successful placement of dental implants. Bone grafts can also help elevate the sinus floor, fill craters or deformities in the jawbone itself, and repair damage done to bone surrounding the teeth. A variety of graft materials are available and selection will depend on the condition being treated.
Regenerative procedures can reverse some of the damage caused by periodontal disease by re-growing lost bone and tissue. During this procedure, your gum tissue will be folded back, and the disease-causing bacteria will be removed. Membranes (filters), bone grafts or tissue-stimulating proteins can be used to encourage your body’s natural ability to regenerate bone and tissue.
Eliminating existing bacteria and regenerating bone and tissue helps to reduce pocket depth and repair damage caused by the progression of periodontal disease. With a combination of daily oral hygiene and professional maintenance care, you’ll increase the chances of keeping your natural teeth – and decrease the chances of other health problems associated with periodontal disease.
A key to implant success is the quantity and quality of the bone where the implant is to be placed. The upper back jaw has traditionally been one of the most difficult areas to successfully place dental implants due to insufficient bone quantity and quality and the close proximity to the sinus. If you’ve lost bone in that area due to reasons such as periodontal disease or tooth loss, you may be left without enough bone to place implants.
Sinus lift surgery can help correct this problem by raising the sinus floor and developing bone for the placement of dental implants. Several techniques can be used to raise the sinus and allow for new bone to form. In one common technique, an incision is made to expose the bone. Then a small circle is cut into the bone. This bony piece is lifted into the sinus cavity, much like a trap door, and the space underneath is filled with bone graft material. Your periodontist can explain your options for graft materials, which can regenerate lost bone and tissue.
Finally, the incision is closed and healing is allowed to take place. Depending on your individual needs, the bone will be allowed to develop for about four to 12 months before implants can be placed. After the implants are placed, an additional healing period is required. In some cases, the implant can be placed at the same time the sinus is augmented.
Ridge modification may be needed if you don’t have enough bone to support an implant. This bone loss could be caused by periodontal disease, wearing dentures, injury, or trauma. During this procedure, bone or bone substitute is added where needed to ensure a proper foundation for implants. Your bone usually needs 4-12 months of healing time before placing implants.