Over a period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth will “shrink” (atrophy) and resorb. 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 new bone where needed. Bone grafting not only gives us the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width, it also gives us a chance to restore functionality and esthetic appearance.
Bone grafting can enhance and prepare future implant sites with inadequate bone structure due to previous extractions, gum disease or injuries. The bone is either obtained from a tissue bank or your own bone is taken from the jaw, hip or tibia (below the knee). Bone grafts make it possible for many patients to have implants when years ago there was no other option other than wearing loose dentures. There are several commonly used bone graft techniques:
In addition, special membranes may be utilized, under the gum, to protect the bone graft and encourage bone regeneration. This process is known as guided bone regeneration or guided tissue regeneration.