With missing teeth, over time the jaw bones shrink and resorb. This results in a condition where the jaw bones are of poor quality and quantity that prevents placement of dental implants. When this occurs, the surgeon must correct the deficit in bone volume by placing bone into the area of the defect and allowing the bone to regenerate. This is termed a “bone graft”.
In many instances, Dr. Lee will use the patient’s own bone to correct the lack of bone in the area of planned implant placement. In other instances, artificial bone, cadaver bone and other bone substitutes can be used to correct the bone deficiency.
In the back of the upper jaw, there are many instances where there is insufficient bone volume to place implants, usually in the vertical dimension. This lack of bone height will require bone grafting of the sinuses to increase the vertical bone height prior to surgery. However, in some instances, the dental implants can be placed into the upper jaw at the same time that the sinus is bone grafted.
In some instances, the jaw bone is too thin to place dental implants. Therefore, the jaw bone has to be widened before implant surgery. After Dr. Lee examines the patient which includes the use of cone beam CT scans, he will inform the patient if there is sufficient bone volume for implant placement.