Your bones, including your jawbone, continually remodel, renewing old bone cells as they die off. However, your jawbone relies on the stimulation provided by your tooth roots to ensure old bone cells are replaced. When natural teeth are removed, the jawbone that used to surround the roots gradually resorbs, so that the ridge of bone that held your teeth becomes flatter and narrower. You may also lose bone because of advanced gum disease. We often need to increase the available bone when we restore the upper back teeth because the jawbone here is naturally thinner as it is close to the sinus cavities.
Restoring Missing Bone for Dental Implants
What is a Bone Graft?
A bone graft is a procedure to increase the amount of bone in areas where it is deficient, increasing the width and height of the jawbone, so there is plenty of bone available for dental implants. If you require dental implants to replace your upper back teeth, we carry out a procedure called a sinus lift or sinus augmentation. During a sinus lift, the membrane between your sinus cavities and your jawbone is “lifted” creating a space that we can fill with bone grafting material.
Bone grafting is a routine procedure as many people don’t have quite enough bone for optimal implant insertion, and it provides predictable results. The bone placed may be taken from another site in your body or is donor bone that is sterilised and specially treated to ensure it is safe for use, or more often it is artificial bone.
What to Expect During Bone Grafting?
During your treatment, we will ensure you are entirely pain-free, and we only use the highest quality bone grafting materials. If you only require a tiny amount of bone, we may be able to insert it at the same time as we remove a failing tooth or when we place the dental implant. Otherwise, bone grafting is carried out as a stand-alone procedure and will need several months to heal and integrate with your natural jawbone. Once healed, we can place your dental implants.