In the event that a patient doesn’t have the adequate amount of bone structure for dental implants after they have lost a tooth, a dental surgeon may have to harvest the patient’s native bone to increase the bone volume in these areas.
There could be several reasons why a patient would not have the sufficient amount of bone structure to handle an implant and thus would require for a certain procedure like the block bone graft in order to successfully receive dental implants. These reasons would include the following possibilities:
- There could be a situation where a tooth was extracted without a socket graft placed in immediately for a new implant or a re-implantation of a tooth.
- There could be a situation where a patient would have a missing tooth in which they suffered a lot of bone destruction from a tumour, infection, or cysts.
- There could be a situation where a patient’s jaw bone area was congenitally missing which would result in damage to the normal bone structure that would be in place to support the tooth which never fully developed.
- Dental trauma can cause a patient to have significant bone loss.
In these and many other situations in which a patient doesn’t have enough bone structure to have implants set in place, Dr. Santos will use a grafting procedure such as the autogenous block bone graft to give you the right amount of bone to successfully sustain a dental implant. This bone grafting would probably come from the lower jawbone in the region where the patient’s wisdom teeth would be located known as the mandibular ramus region. Alternative places could include the patient’s chin.
For a successful procedure, the dentist would remove a small block of bone (usually less than 1 cm square) from one of the two mentioned spots listed above and transfer it to the area where you would have significant bone insufficiency. It will be secured using two extremely small screws and overlaid with a collagen membrane and bovine bone. There is usually a four to six month waiting period to ensure that the patient is fully healed before attempting to place an implant in the area where the graft was placed. For more information about this procedure and other bone grafting techniques performed by Dr. Santos, please contact our office for a dental implant consultation.