A defect in the bone can result from an extraction, trauma, or be developmental. These bony defects can be repaired by bone grafting which both Dr. Weir and Dr. Thomas perform at James Island Dental Associates. Bone grafting is achieved by taking your own bone (autograft), another human's bone (allograft), animal's bone (xenograft), or synthetic bone (alloplast) and placing it into the defect. These grafts come in block form or particulate form. Each is used differently depending on the type of defect present. Many times we use an allograft, which is cadaver bone. The advantage of an allograft is that it prevents a patient from having a second surgery site (the donor area). A bone graft forms scaffolding for one's own bone to grow into. On average, this takes 3 months for the lower jaw and 5-6 months for the upper jaw resulting in the patient's own bone filling in the defect.
A bone graft is highly recommended following the extraction of a tooth to prevent defects from forming. This maintains the height and width of the bone to allow the placement of an implant or create an ideal site for a pontic. This is sometimes called ridge preservation. Following the extraction, the bone graft is placed, and a protective membrane is sutured into place.
Sinus LiftA sinus lift procedure may be recommended when the sinuses in the upper jaw drop down into an area where the bone may not be as abundant to support an implant. Some sinus lifts can be done at the time of implant placement (internal) or prior to placing an implant (external). This procedure involves lifting the sinus membrane (keeping it intact) and depositing bone underneath the membrane. By doing this, the bone height is increased allowing for an implant to be placed and not invade the sinus.
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