Jawbone Augmentation: Ridge Splitting Procedure
Bone graft surgery is commonly used in implant dentistry for the purpose of either fortifying a particular implant site (extractions sometimes cause tiny amounts of bone loss) or for larger scale jawbone rehabilitation when loss is more significant.
Difficult extractions, gum disease, resorption, congenital defects (missing incisors) and untreated tooth extractions commonly signal the need for bone augmentation when dental implants are desired for replacing a tooth or creating a fixed bridge.
Visit our Bone and Tissue Grafting page for additional details on the different types of graft materials and applicatons of the procedure.
No Bone for Implants?
The most popular form of bone grafting used by dentists, implantologists and Periodontists consists of a pulverized bone matrix product that can be manually packed into an implant site or can be injected directly into an extraction site (known as a socket graft).
When the width of the jawbone is too narrow, as shown in our first two adjacent photos, manual packing of bone graft material on both sides of the exposed jawbone may heal well and provide a “perceived” healthier width of bone. Being able to withstand the physical forces of biting and chewing, however, may remain in question.
Candidate or Not a Candidate?
Bone Loss – Narrow Width Implant Not Possible
Perio Flap Exposes Bone Thin Ridge Detail
Patients who have this condition, whether it affects one tooth or several, are often told they are not a candidate for implants.
Unfortunately, the number of dentists and specialists who have the access to advanced technologies that are designed to overcome unique bone health problems such as this are relatively few.
Using a standard set of dental implant drills cannot be used in this instance. The remaining bone surrounding a standard implant for this patient would be nearly paper thin, practically inviting an implant failure.
Creating Candidacy for Dental Implants
The task of creating a rock solid environment wherein an implant is fully surrounded by dense natural bone is to physically separate the two walls of the bony ridge and insert the implant with solid packing of hybrid pulverized bone graft material.
A specialized tool, Osteotome, is used to fit into a prepared hole or extraction site. Several sizes and types of osteotomes are used to control the amount of modification to the boney ridge.
Final Crown Restoration
Approximately three months later, minor gum surgery is performed to expose the healing cap and resuture the gums to create a snug fit around the implant.
When the gums tissues have completed the last stage of healing, an implant abutment is placed, to accommodate, at first, a temporary crown to assure proper aesthetics. Once approved by the patient, a final restorative crown is placed.
Patients seeking additional information or details about specialized treatment sessions or appointments are invited to contact Dr. Brant directly via our on-line Ask The Dentist form during or after usual business hours.