• Arshiya Sharafi, DDS

    Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Bone Grafting

Major & Minor Bone Grafting

Since the jaw bone reabsorbs over time, there are instances that you may need bone grafting procedures to restore your jaw bone. To make you an appropriate candidate for implants, these grafting procedures re-creates the bone structure to place the implant. 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.

Ridge Preservation (Socket Grafting)

Once a tooth is removed from the jaw, the bone which supported the tooth undergoes a series of changes which cause it to loose vertical height and horizontal width. After a period of time, bone can be resorbed to the point where replacing the tooth with an implant cannot be accomplished without grafting to reconstruct the missing bone. Even in cases where implant treatment is not contemplated, loss of ridge height and width can affect the bone support of adjacent teeth and soft tissues, as well as the fit and esthetic appearance of other types of tooth replacement options. In most instances of tooth extraction, we recommend placement of a bone grafting material to maintain the contours of the alveolar ridge. This procedure is commonly referred to as “ridge preservation” or “socket grafting”.

Sinus Lift Procedure

The maxillary sinuses are behind your cheeks and on top of the upper teeth. Sinuses are like empty rooms that have nothing in them. Some of the roots of the natural upper teeth extend up into the maxillary sinuses. When these upper teeth are removed, there is often just a thin wall of bone separating the sinus and the mouth. Dental implants need bone to hold them in place. When the sinus wall is very thin, it is impossible to place dental implants in this bone.

The solution to this problem is a sinus graft or sinus lift graft. Dr. Sharafi enters the sinus from where the upper teeth used to be. The sinus membrane is then lifted upward and donor bone is inserted into the floor of the sinus. Keep in mind that the floor of the sinus is the roof of the upper jaw. After several months of healing, the bone becomes part of the patient’s jaw and dental implants can be inserted and stabilized in this new sinus bone.
The sinus graft makes it possible for many patients to have dental implants when years ago there was no other option other than wearing loose dentures.

If enough bone between the upper jaw ridge and the bottom of the sinus is available to stabilize the implant well, sinus augmentations and implant placement can sometimes be performed as a single procedure. If not enough bone is available, the sinus augmentation will have to be performed first, then the graft will have to mature for several months, depending upon the type of graft material used. Once the graft has matured, the implants can be placed.