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Bone Grafting For Implants

A bone graft is placed at the time of tooth extraction to help your body fill in the empty socket with bone. This step will help maintain the width and volume of bone you will need for implant placement several months later.  However, all sites heal differently and additional bone grafting may still be needed.

There may be inadequate bone for implant placement if your tooth was removed many years ago and your bony ridge is extremely thin.  In this case, a bone graft can be placed next to the thin bone and allowed to heal for up to 6 months. After the graft has fused to your pre-existing bone, the ridge will be re-entered and the implant placed.  Bone grafting is usually a relatively comfortable office procedure.  Many different bone-grafting materials are available, and Dr. Jenkins will choose the best material for your case.

You may also need bone grafting if the sinus cavities in your upper jaw are very large, or very low, and extend into the tooth-bearing areas.  This often occurs when teeth in the back of a person’s upper jaw have been removed many years before, and the amount of bone available for implant placement is limited.  A “sinus grafting procedure” is then required. Sinus grafting is performed in the office with local anesthesia and perhaps IV sedation.  During this procedure, the membrane that lines the sinus will be located and elevated.  Bone will then be added to restore the bone height and ensure that dental implants of an adequate length can be placed.  This procedure often can be performed at the time of implant placement.  However, if the amount of residual bone is minimal, the sinus graft will need to be done first and allowed to heal 6 months before placing the implants. 


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