What is bone graft?
After the tooth is removed, the jaw bone starts shrinking. When the teeth are removed for a long time, the width and height of the jaw bone might not be enough for implant placement. With bone grafting we can add to the width and sometimes to the height of the jaw bone in order to place the implants of proper width and length.
There are three main sources for bone graft materials:
Autogenous Bone Grafts:
Autogenous bone grafts are derived from your own bone, taken from someplace in the body. The bone is usually harvested from the chin, jaw, lower leg bone, hip, or the skull. Autogenous grafts contain cellular elements that enhance bone growth.
Allograft bone is harvested from a cadaver, then processed using a freeze-dry method. Unlike autogenous bone, allogenic bone cannot produce new bone on it’s own. Rather, it serves as a framework or scaffold over which bone from the surrounding bony walls can grow to fill the defect or void.
Xenogeneic bone is derived from non-living bone of another species, usually a cow. The bone is processed at very high temperatures to avoid the potential for immune rejection and contamination. Like allogenic grafts, xenogeneic grafts serve as a framework for bone from the surrounding area to grow and fill the void. Xenograft bone require more healing time.
Do You Have Enough Bone for a Dental Implant?
After tooth extraction, if the walls of the socket are very thick, they will usually fill naturally with bone in two to three months. However, when the walls of your socket are very thin (such as in your upper and lower front teeth), healing not as predictable. In these situations, you may not have enough bone to receive a dental implant. When this is the case, a bone graft will be placed at the time of tooth extraction in order to help your body fill in the empty socket. This will maintain the width and volume of bone that you will need for implant placement months later.
Have You Waited Too Long Between Extraction and Implant?
If your tooth was removed many years ago, your bony ridge may be extremely thin, which means that there may be inadequate bone for implant placement. In this case, a bone graft can be placed next to the thin bone and allowed to heal for up to six months. After the graft has fused to your pre-existing bone, the ridge will be re-entered and the implant placed. Bone grafting is usually a relatively comfortable procedure, especially when done by the expert hand of our clinic’s specialists. Many different bone-grafting materials are available, including your own bone.
Processed human allogenic bone ring
A prefabricated ring of processed allogenic donor bone that is placed press-fit into a trephine drill-prepared ring bed. This is an innovative solution for 3-dimensional vertical augmentation of bone defects allowing a single-stage graft and implant placement. The simultaneous implant placement saves you and your patient time and a surgical step compared to a conventional bone block, reducing chair time, eliminating the need for a second harvesting site and shorter time-to-teeth. Vancouver Dental Specialty Clinic specialists recommend this novel approach for bone graft and implant at the same time if you are a good candidate for this procedure.
What Else Can Result in a Need for a Dental Bone Graft?
You may also need a dental bone graft if the sinus cavities in your upper jaw are very large, or very low, and extend into the tooth-bearing areas. This often occurs when teeth in the back of a patient’s upper jaw have been removed years before, and the amount of bone available for implant placement is limited. A “sinus grafting procedure” is then required. Most often, it is performed in the office with local anesthesia and perhaps sedation. During this procedure, the membrane that lines the sinus will be located and elevated. Bone will then be added to restore the bone height and ensure that dental implants of an adequate length can be placed. This procedure often can be performed at the time of implant placement.
For more information about bone grafts for dental implants, call our office in Point Grey BC at 604-336-0958.
Bone Grafting before Dental Implant Placement
Narrow jaw bone , not enough for the implant
Jaw bone after bone graft
The results in the photographs are examples only and do not imply any certainty of the result of a procedure, and all outcomes are subject to the circumstances of the individual patient.