Bone grafting is a technique for augmenting bone where it may be necessary. Implants for example require enough bone around them to provide support and longevity. Areas which typically require bone for the placement of implants are extraction sites and the sinuses. 

As with all procedures we are able to complete this treatment for you with IV sedation or general anesthesia with the hopes of providing you with exceptional comfort!

The bone in extraction sites rarely regenerates completely. Mother nature tends to take a short cut and only replaces some of the bone. If you are fortunate enough to have started with lots of bone this partial replacement may still be enough to support a subsequent implant. However, if you only had modest bone volume initially, there may no longer be enough. Surrounding structures such as the nerve running through the lower jaw or the sinus floor in the upper jaw (see image below) may further reduce available bone volume. It generally takes about 3 months after an extraction to assess remaining bone volume. 

Watch video 4Sinus lift Internal Video

Minimal bone above the maxillary sinus floor.  This area will require a bone graft to provide sufficient bone before placing a dental implant.

If the bone volume is insufficient in either width or height it can be augmented with your own bone, donor bone (usually human or bovine) or a mixture of both. Non-bone materials such as hydroxyapatite are not used frequently because of the very slow rate of bone transformation (years). 

Areas within the mouth can act as a donor site for small amounts of your own bone. These include the back of the upper jaw behind the last tooth, the area behind the last tooth in the lower jaw and the chin button. Harvesting from these areas is generally done in the office under local freezing or sedation. If larger amounts of bone are needed, they can be harvested from the lower leg, hip or rib. These procedures are generally done in hospital under a general anaesthetic and a quite rare. 

Often we use 'bottled bone' derived from cows which comes certified from credible suppliers. This bone has been treated with radiation and other processes to destroy any possible disease causing pathogens. Scientific studies of these products have concluded that there is no chance of getting diseases such as 'mad cow' from these grafts.

The recipient site is accessed through a small incision in the gum. The graft bone has the consistency of putty and is placed in the deficient area. Sometimes it is stabilized with a special membrane material. The area is then allowed to heal and mature. This takes 6 to 12 months. Even grafted bone can melt away during healing, it is not entirely predictable. 

In some circumstances, a bone graft is done at the time of implant placement to bulk up a thin area of bone over the implant threads or give a little more height.