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.
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 aesthetic appearance. Sinus bone grafts are also performed to replace bone in the posterior upper jaw.
There are three types: autogenous, allograft, and xenograft. Autogenous grafts use bone from another part of your body, moving it to your mouth. Usually bone is removed from non-essential bones like your chin or the back of your jaw. Allografts use human bone but not your own. Instead, we use bone from cadavers who have donated their bones to bone banks. This is safe because the bone goes through rigorous testing before use. And, Xenografts use bone from another source. The most commonly used source is cow bones.
The benefit of using either allografts or xenografts is that our patients will not have to have a second surgery to harvest their bone. Also, both sources are easily found so we will have plenty of bone for whatever you need.
To help with the healing process, we may use growth factors and biological materials. In addition, special membranes may be utilized that dissolve under the gum and protect the bone graft and encourage bone regeneration. This is called guided bone regeneration or guided tissue regeneration.
Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.