Bone loss can happen for many reasons, most commonly due to resorption of the jaw due to missing teeth. If inadequate amount of bone is present and dental implants are needed, bone grafts are required to restore the height and width of bone. The bone is typically obtained from national tissue banks (allogenic bone) but can also be obtained from your own bone (autogenous bone). Typically, bone grafts are done at time of extraction which require extended healing time for it to fully combine with your natural bone. Major bone grafts are more complex and are typically performed to repair larger defects due to long term tooth loss, tumor surgery, or traumatic defects. This bone can harvested from a number of different donor sites including your hip, tibia, and jaw.
If there is an inadequate amount of bone in the upper jaw and the maxillary sinuses. A sinus lift may be indicated where the sinus is elevated and bone is placed between the sinus membrane and your upper jaw. After a sinus augmentation, if adequate amount of bone exists, implants can be placed at the same appointment. If not, the bone will need approximately six months to integrate with your native jaw bone before implants are placed. Dr. Kang will discuss all these options with you in detail.
Dental implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. Dr. Eugene Kang performs the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary. The restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.