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. Previously, in these situations, patients were not good 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 an aesthetic appearance.
Bone grafting can repair implant sites with inadequate bone structure due to previous extractions, gum disease or injuries. The bone is either obtained from a tissue bank or your own bone is taken from the jaw. Sinus bone grafts are also performed to replace bone in the posterior upper jaw. In addition, special membranes may be utilized under the gum, which protect the bone graft and encourage bone regeneration. This is called guided bone regeneration.