Bone Grafting St. Petersburg FL

Major & Minor Bone Grafting


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Over a period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth atrophies or is reabsorbed. This often leaves a condition in which there are poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for placement of dental implants. In these situations, most patients are not candidates for placement of dental implants.

Today, we have the ability to grow bone where needed. This not only gives us the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width, but it also gives us a chance to restore functionality and aesthetic appearance.

Common Causes of Jaw Bone Loss:

  1. Tooth Extractions: Missing teeth lead to bone deterioration as the jaw lacks stimulation, resulting in resorption over time.

  2. Periodontal Disease: Infections gradually destroy gum support and bone, ultimately leading to tooth loss.

  3. Dentures/Bridgework: Unanchored dentures and bridges don’t stimulate the underlying bone, causing resorption and eventual instability.

  4. Facial Trauma: Tooth loss from accidents or injuries halts bone stimulation, leading to bone loss.

  5. Misalignment: Teeth misalignment can cause over-eruption and bone deterioration.

  6. Osteomyelitis: Bacterial infection in the jawbone causes inflammation and bone loss, often requiring removal of affected bone.

  7. Tumors: Benign or malignant tumors may necessitate jawbone removal, requiring reconstructive bone grafting.

  8. Developmental Deformities: Certain conditions lead to missing facial bones or teeth, which can be addressed with bone grafting.

  9. Sinus Deficiencies: Tooth loss in the upper jaw can lead to sinus enlargement, affecting dental implant placement. A sinus lift procedure may be necessary.

Effects of Tooth and Jaw Bone Loss:

  1. Complications with existing teeth: Misalignment, shifting, loosening, and eventual loss.
  2. Facial profile collapse.
  3. Reduced lip support.
  4. Increased skin wrinkling around the mouth.
  5. Altered facial features.
  6. Jaw pain, facial discomfort, and headaches (TMJ issues).
  7. Speaking and communication difficulties.
  8. Challenges in chewing, leading to inadequate nutrition and discomfort.
  9. Sinus expansion.

Major Bone Grafting

Bone grafting can repair implant sites with inadequate bone structure due to previous extractions, gum disease or injuries. The bone is either obtained from a tissue bank or your own bone is taken from the jaw, hip or tibia (below the knee). Sinus bone grafts are also performed to replace bone in the posterior upper jaw. In addition, special membranes may be utilized that dissolve under the gum and protect the bone graft and encourage bone regeneration. This is called guided bone regeneration or guided tissue regeneration.

Major bone grafts are typically performed to repair defects of the jaws. These defects may arise as a result of traumatic injuries, tumor surgery, or congenital defects. Large defects are repaired using the patient’s own bone. This bone is harvested from a number of different sites depending on the size of the defect. The skull (cranium), hip (iliac crest), and lateral knee (tibia) are common donor sites. These procedures are routinely performed in an operating room and require a hospital stay.

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Sinus Lift Procedure

The maxillary sinuses are behind your cheeks and on top of the upper teeth. Sinuses are like empty rooms that have nothing in them. Some of the roots of the natural upper teeth extend up into the maxillary sinuses. When these upper teeth are removed, there is often just a thin wall of bone separating the maxillary sinus and the mouth. Dental implants need bone to hold them in place. When the sinus wall is very thin, it is impossible to place dental implants in this bone.

There is a solution and it’s called a sinus graft or sinus lift graft. The dental implant surgeon enters the sinus from where the upper teeth used to be. The sinus membrane is then lifted upward and donor’s bone is inserted into the floor of the sinus. Keep in mind that the floor of the sinus is the roof of the upper jaw. After several months of healing, the bone becomes part of the patient’s jaw and dental implants can be inserted and stabilized in this new sinus bone.

The sinus graft makes it possible for many patients to have dental implants when years ago there was no other option other than wearing loose dentures.

If enough bone between the upper jaw ridge and the bottom of the sinus is available to stabilize the implant well, sinus augmentations and implant placement can sometimes be performed as a single procedure. If not enough bone is available, the sinus augmentation will have to be performed first, then the graft will have to mature for several months, depending upon the type of graft material used. Once the graft has matured, the implants can be placed.

Ridge Expansion

In severe cases, the ridge has been reabsorbed and a bone graft is placed to increase ridge height and/or width. This is a technique used to restore the lost bone dimension when the jaw ridge gets too thin to place conventional implants. In this procedure, the bony ridge of the jaw is literally expanded by mechanical means. Bone graft material can be placed and matured for a few months before placing the implant.

Nerve Repositioning

The inferior alveolar nerve, which gives feeling to the lower lip and chin, may need adjustment to accommodate lower jaw dental implants, especially if molars are missing. This procedure involves removing a section of the jawbone, temporarily moving the nerve aside, placing implants, and then repositioning the nerve. Bone grafts from various body areas may be used for repairs, with the patient’s own bone yielding optimal results. Alternatively, cadaver bone or synthetic materials can stimulate bone growth. Surgeries are typically done under sedation or anesthesia in-office, with one day of bed rest and limited activity for a week post-discharge.

Socket Preservation Procedure

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Animation of Socket Preservation

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Preserving Your Jaw Bone After Extraction

Tooth removal can lead to jaw deformities and rapid bone loss, impacting future dental treatments like implants, bridges, or dentures. Socket preservation is a procedure to prevent and repair these issues.

Techniques involve filling the socket with bone or substitutes, covering it with gum or tissue to aid natural healing, and preventing shrinkage. This method ensures socket healing, maintains surrounding tissues, and provides a stable foundation for future dental work, especially in front teeth replacement. If tooth removal is recommended, ask your dentist about socket preservation.

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For additional information about Bone Grafting or to schedule an appointment with Oral Surgeon Dr. Fort, please contact us at St. Petersburg Oral Surgery & Dental Implants Phone Number 727-525-5455 or

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