We have the ability to regenerate bone when needed. Socket preservation can repair sites with inadequate bone structure and allows more patients to become implant candidates.
Over a period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth atrophies or is reabsorbed. This often leaves a condition in which there is poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for placement of dental implants. Under these conditions most patients are not suitable candidates for placement of dental implants.
Today, we have the ability to grow bone where needed. This not only gives us the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width, it also gives us a chance to restore functionality and esthetic appearance.
Bone grafting can repair implant sites with inadequate bone structure due to previous extractions, gum disease or injuries. Typically, Dr. Akin performs the socket preservation procedure by placing an allograft (sterilized cadaver bone) or a xenograft (sterilized bovine bone).
Sinus bone grafts are also performed to replace bone in the posterior upper jaw. In addition, special membranes may be utilized that dissolve under the gum and protect the bone graft and encourage bone regeneration. This is called guided bone regeneration or guided tissue regeneration.
The maxillary sinuses are behind your cheeks and on top of the upper teeth. Sinuses are like empty rooms that have nothing in them. Some of the roots of the natural upper teeth extend up into the maxillary sinuses. When these upper teeth are removed, there is often just a thin wall of bone separating the maxillary sinus and the mouth. Dental implants need bone to hold them in place. When the sinus wall is very thin, it is impossible to place dental implants in this bone.
There is a solution and it’s called a sinus augmentation or lift. Dr. Akin enters the sinus from where the upper teeth used to be. The sinus membrane is then lifted upward and donor bone is inserted into the floor of the sinus. Keep in mind that the floor of the sinus is the roof of the upper jaw. After several months of healing, the bone becomes part of the patient’s jaw and dental implants can be placed and stabilized in this new sinus bone.
The sinus bone graft makes it possible for many patients to have dental implants when years ago there was no other option other than wearing loose dentures. If enough bone between the upper jaw ridge and the bottom of the sinus is available to stabilize the implant, the sinus augmentation and implant placement can sometimes be performed as a single procedure. If not enough bone is available, the sinus augmentation will have to be performed first, then the graft will have to mature for several months depending upon the type of graft material used. Once the graft has matured, the implants can be placed.
These procedures may be performed separately or together, depending upon the individual’s condition. There are several areas of the body that are suitable for obtaining bone graft material. In the maxillofacial region, bone grafts can be taken from inside the mouth, in the area of the chin or third molar region or in the upper jaw behind the last tooth.
In many cases, we can use allograft material to implement bone grafting for dental implants. This bone is prepared from cadavers and used to promote the patients own bone to grow into the repair site. It is quite effective and very safe. Synthetic materials can also be used to stimulate bone formation. We even use factors from your own blood to accelerate and promote bone formation in graft areas.
These surgeries are performed in one of the office surgical suites under IV sedation. After discharge, bed rest is recommended for one day and limited physical activity for one week.