What is bone graft?

  • bone-graft-before
    Before bone graft, there was insufficient bone for implant placement.

Bone graft is a bone substitute used for dental implant treatment and tooth extractions. The function of bone graft is to assist your body in growing its own bone. Essentially, bone graft fills in voids to act as a space maintainer and allow your body to generate new bone.

Why do we need bone graft?

Once we lose our teeth, our jawbone continues to shrink at an accelerated rate. By placing bone graft, you help restore your missing bone and compensate for this bone loss. For dental implants to succeed, they must be placed in solid bone. Oftentimes, the ideal position for implant placement lacks enough sufficient bone to fully secure your implants in place. In these situations, your dentist has to add bone graft to build up your bone in preparation for implant placement.

Where does bone graft come from?

There are many different types of bone graft material. Here is a list of the most common grafts used in dentistry:

  • Synthetic Bone: We typically use synthetic grafts, such as Calcium Apatite, to fill in smaller voids and defects.
  • Human, Cow or Pig Bone: Larger defects typically require the use of cadaver bone, bovine (cow) or xenograft (pig) bone. These grafts don’t get absorbed over time so they are ideal for preserving large gaps.
  • Your Own Bone: The largest bony defects require a donor site from another region of your own body, which is known as autogenous graft or block graft.

Regardless of the source, all bone grafts function by helping your body regenerate bone. Bone graft acts as a space holder to permit your own bone to grow into the space. Once your bone has replaced the graft material, your dentist can now securely lock dental implants in place. Keep in mind, bone graft procedures are expensive and take several months to complete.

What is a sinus lift/ sinus graft?

Sinus graft is a more complex graft which requires pushing your sinus membrane up to make room for bone and dental implants.

You may require a sinus lift or sinus graft before placing dental implants. Here is a bit more information about each different sinus surgery:

  • Sinus Lift: You need a sinus lift when there is only 5 to 8 millimeters of bone under your sinuses. A sinus lift involves your dentist pushing the sinus membrane up to create enough room for implant placement. This is a relatively straight forward procedure which is commonly required for placing implants in the upper posterior region.
  • Lateral Wall Sinus Graft: If there is hardly any bone under your sinuses, less than 5 millimeters, then a sinus lift alone will not restore sufficient bone. In these circumstances, you require a procedure known as a lateral wall sinus graft instead. Your dentist will access your sinus membrane by creating an opening in the upper jaw. Then, he or she will lift your entire sinus membrane using a lateral wall approach. Finally, your dentist adds a significant amount of bone graft material to prepare the region for implant placement.

When do I require sinus surgery before implant placement?

A sinus lift or sinus graft is typically required before placing dental implants in the upper posterior region. This area typically has insufficient bone for implant placement as a result of its proximity to sinuses. For those of you with a knowledge of teeth numbers, this includes teeth #2, 3, 4, 13, 14, 15 and occasionally teeth #5 and 12.

The type of surgery required to build up your sinus bone depends on how much existing bone you already have. Your dentist will access your sinus bone levels using a CT scan or Panoramic X-ray. If you have a medium amount of bone, then a sinus lift is all that you require. A lateral wall sinus graft is required when you have hardly any bone under your sinuses. Lateral wall sinus graft is a much more complex surgery as compared to sinus lift. However, it is your only option when there is almost no bone left under your sinuses.

Bone graft and sinus lift in San Clemente:

To learn more about different grafting procedures., schedule your appointment with us today. Call us at (949) 481-2540 or book your consult online today. Our dentist, Dr. Jazayeri, will review your treatment to determine if your bone is ready for implant placement. We will discuss exactly what treatment you require to build your bone up in preparation for implants.

To learn more about related surgical procedures, click on the following: