Jawbone atrophy occurs in areas of tooth loss, the bone tissue that once anchored tooth roots shrinking away over time. Bone loss can also happen in response to dental problems, gum disease or injury. This often creates issues with poor bone quantity or quality, leaving these sites unsuitable for dental implant placement. However, with today’s bone grafting and tissue engineering techniques and technologies, we now have the ability to grow bone where it is needed, renewing these sites to allow placement of dental implants to restore the oral function and appearance of patients.
Increasing knowledge about tissue regeneration has given rise to a number of new methods for promoting the growth of bone in deficient areas, which can eliminate the need for traditional bone grafts in many cases. These methods use various growth factors, which are proteins that interact with stem cells in the body to generate new bone growth. Commonly used growth factors include Recombinant Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) and rhBMP-2, which are bioengineered growth factors, and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP).
Dr. Arroyo may repair inadequate bone structure with bone grafting, using bone obtained from a tissue bank or from the patient’s own jaw, hip or tibia (shin bone). Sinus bone grafts are common to replace bone in the posterior upper jaw, as are bone grafts to repair sites that have lost bone due to tooth loss, injury or gum disease. Guided bone or tissue regeneration is often used in conjunction with bone grafting, a technique that places special membranes under the gum tissue, where they dissolve and act to protect the graft and encourage bone regeneration.
Major bone grafting is a procedure that is typically done to repair defects in the jaws, which may be caused by injury, surgical removal of tumors or congenital factors. For large defects, bone is harvested from the patient’s own body, most commonly the skull, hip or tibia. These procedures are generally done in a hospital operating room and patients typically require a hospital stay after the procedure.
However, a sinus lift procedure can thicken that bone, creating adequate support for dental implants. To augment the area, Dr. Arroyo will insert bone graft material into the floor of the sinus cavity, which will become part of the jawbone as the area heals.
Today’s advanced therapies for bone grafting and tissue engineering have improved lives, opening the door to dental implant treatment for many patients who once would have been turned away. To make that possible, Dr. Arroyo may use a combination of these treatments in a patient, with most done right in our office using local anesthesia and, when necessary, IV sedation.
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