Major and Minor Bone Grafting
Missing teeth over a period of time can cause the jaw bone to atrophy, or resorb. This often results in poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for the placement of dental implants as well as long-term shifting of the remaining teeth and changes to facial structure. Most patients, in these situations, are not candidates for dental implants.
Fortunately, today we have the ability to “grow bone” where it is needed. This not only provides us the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width, but also enables us to restore functionality and esthetic appearance.
Major Bone Grafting
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 one’s own bone is harvested (taken) from the jaw, hip or tibia (below the knee). Sinus bone grafts are also performed to replace bone in the posterior upper jaw (back portion of the upper jaw). In addition, special membranes may be utilized that “dissolve” under the gum to protect the bone graft, as well as encourage bone regeneration. This procedure is referred to as guided bone regeneration, or guided tissue regeneration.
Major bone grafting is typically performed to repair defects of the jaws. These defects may be congenital defects (abnormalities that one is born with) or jaw defects may arise as a result of a traumatic injury or sequelae (consequence) of having tumour surgery. Large defects are repaired using the patient’s own bone. This bone is harvested from a number of different areas depending upon the amount of bone that is needed to repair the defect. The skull (cranium), hip (iliac crest), and lateral knee (tibia), are common donor sites. These procedures are routinely performed in an operating room and require a hospital stay.