If your jawbone isn’t thick enough or is too soft, you may need bone grafting before you can have dental implant surgery.

With current bone graft techniques, we have the ability to grow bone where needed. Augmentation bone grafts can be accomplished virtually anywhere on the upper and lower jaws. This enables us to offer dental implants as a replacement for missing teeth to almost all patients, even if substantial bone loss has occurred.

The great majority of bone grafts required for implant placement are minor procedures which can easily be accomplished in the office under local anesthesia and/or conscious sedation.

A small collagen membrane may be required to contain the graft and prevent soft tissue (gum tissue) from interfering with new bone formation. The membrane is broken down and eliminated by the body so removal at a future date is not necessary. This technique is often referred to as guided bone regeneration (GBR).

Commonly used bone graft materials include:

  • autogenous bone (your own bone)
  • cadaver bone (bank bone)
  • bovine bone
  • synthetic bone

The selection of graft material and surgical technique are based on the location and severity of the bone loss. In most cases, specially prepared cadaver bone and/or autogenous bone are utilized. Autogenous bone is usually taken from other areas of the upper or lower jaw.

After bone grafting surgery, it may take up to nine months for the transplanted bone to grow enough new bone to support a dental implant. In some cases, you may need only minor bone grafting, which can be done at the same time as the implant surgery. The condition of your jawbone determines how you proceed.

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