Bone Augmentation (Bone Grafting)

Bone Augmentation, often referred to as “bone grafting”, is a procedure to replace atrophied or missing bone in the jaw. Bone atrophy or bone loss can be caused because a tooth or multiple teeth are missing and the bone will dissolve overtime. The body will naturally re-contour the bone in the jaw if there is not a tooth root or implant to maintain the bone level. Bone grafting is usually used in conjunction with implant placement. Implants have the best chance of success when surrounded by thick healthy bone. There are a variety of ways to replace lost bone. Below you can read about different examples of bone replacement therapies.

Block Bone Grafting

A block graft can be harvested from the patient or it can be a human or bone substitute. The block is harvested at the size of the needed replacement. The block is tacked into place with a fixation screw or tack and left to heal for a period of some months until the patient’s body accepts the graft and it becomes natural bone to the patient’s body. After the healing phase is complete the area is ready for implant placement.

Sinus Lift Surgery

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 have 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.