There are several proven, effective methods to help reshape the bone of the teeth and jaw.
There are a variety of bone grafting procedures that are performed in preparation for dental implants. The sole purpose of bone is in the teeth bearing portions of your jaw is to support teeth. When a tooth is removed, the stimulus on that bone is no longer present. This causes bone to atrophy and disappear. To place an implant, there needs to be adequate height and width of the planned site. This is when a bone graft may be warranted.
Several options exist restoring the amount of bone to support an implant. The bone Dr. Blyer uses can be from a variety of sources:
Bone in a bottle
- Bone from a number of sources (most commonly cadaver from cow) is placed in the deficient area. The donors are screened and the bone is purified to remove any potentially dangerous disease transmission. This bone works as a scaffolding for new bone growth. Your own bone cells replace this bone after a few months. This is the more common graft material used for small defects.
Your Own Bone
- Marvin Gaye said it best in his song “Ain’t nothing like the real thing. ” Using your own bone is another option. This is typically the gold standard of bone graft material, in that we see the least amount of resorption (disappearing of bone after placement). Depending on how much bone is needed, through hidden incisions in the mouth, bone can be taken from the chin, ramus (back area of the lower jaw), or tuberosity (back area of the upper jaw). If a large amount of bone is needed it can be taken from your tibia or hip. After bone is removed, the donor site will grow back in a few months. Your face or body will not look any different.
BMP 2 (Bone morphogenetic protein 2)
- BMP 2 is a protein isolated from bone that induces new bone formation. It is FDA-approved and has been used in the orthopedic field for years. It is applied in the surgical site and is very successful for growing new bone in oral sites where implants are desired.
In the upper jaw in the area above the molars, sometimes extending to above the premolars, are your maxillary sinuses. These areas are visible on your panoramic radiograph.
After a tooth is removed in the area of the sinus, the bone that was supporting that tooth begins to disappear. This often results in a larger sinus with not enough bone to support an implant. There are also many people that have large sinuses, unrelated to the extraction of a tooth. In either case, a sinus lift may be warranted.
A sinus lift is when the membrane lining the sinus is gently elevated and bone graft material is placed on the floor of the sinus. This gives us enough boney height to place an implant. Any of the above materials can be used as a bone graft.
There are basically 2 different ways to approach this procedure. Through a window created by the path of the implant placement or by coming through the side of the sinus and placing bone in a small window created beneath a gum flap. Many times the implant can be placed at the same time of the sinus lift.