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Orange Coast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
17150 Euclid Street, Suite 319
Phone: (714) 444-2274 Fax: (714) 444-2034


Home > Procedures > Bone Grafting

Bone Grafting

Over a period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth atrophies or is reabsorbed. This often leaves a condition in which there is 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 it is needed. This not only gives us the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width, it also gives us a chance to restore functionality and esthetic appearance. Bone grafting can repair implant sites with inadequate bone structure due to previous extractions, gum disease or injuries. The bone that is obtained for these minor defects are usually obtained from other areas of the jaw. Major bone grafts are typically performed to repair large defects of the jaws that may arise as a result of traumatic injuries, tumor surgery, or congenital defects may require grafts from other parts of the body such as from the hip.


The maxillary sinuses, empty compartments behind your cheeks and above the upper teeth, naturally enlarge with aging. Some of the roots of the upper teeth actually 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 making it impossible to place dental implants. There is a solution and it's called a sinus graft or sinus lift graft. The oral surgeon enters the sinus from where the upper teeth used to be. The sinus membrane is then lifted gently upward and donor 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 six 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, 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 cases where 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.

Onlay Grafting

Another technique to increase bone width and height is to borrow bone from other areas of the jaws and secure it to the existing bone. This bone is secured with small screws that will be removed in 6 months. During this time the borrowed bone will fuse with the existing bone and will be suitable for implant placement.

Distraction Osteogenesis

For severe cases of bone loss, it is now possible to grow bone vertically by stretching the bone slowly over a period of time with a small removable device.

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