Missing teeth over a period of time can cause your jaw bone to atrophy, or resorb. This often results in poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for the placement of dental implants as well as long term shifting of remaining teeth and changes to facial structure. Without intervention in these situations, patients would not be candidates for dental implants.
Fortunately, today we have the ability to graft bone where it is needed. This not only gives us the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width, but it also gives us a chance to restore functionality and esthetic appearance.
Bone grafting can repair implant sites with inadequate bone structure due to previous extractions, gum disease, or injuries. Sinus bone grafts are also performed to replace bone in the posterior upper jaw. In addition, special membranes may be utilized that dissolve under the gum to protect the bone graft, as well as encourage bone regeneration. This is called guided bone regeneration, or guided tissue regeneration.