In the areas of the jaws where tooth extractions have been performed, a decrease in the height and width of the bone is observed over time. It is a normal process due to the absorption of bone in these areas. This results in less bone than is necessary for the proper placement of dental implants in the area.
Quite often during the process of dental implants placement, a decrease in the amount of bone in the jaw area is observed. The main reason for bone loss, is the long-term loss of teeth in this area. Due to the lack of teeth, the bone atrophies and is absorbed.
However, there are cases where the bone has been lost from other causes such as pathological processes in the jaws, wounds, cysts, etc. In all the above cases, in order to place dental implants, we must proceed with bone regeneration by placing a bone graft.
Guided Bone Regeneration (GBR)
In cases where the bone deficit is small, the method of directed bone regeneration (GBR) can be applied. According to this method the bone defect is filled with a special material called “bone graft”. This bone graft can be obtained either from the patient himself or be an xenograft of animal or human origin, that has been properly treated and is biocompatible and safe to use.
The bone graft is then covered with a special membrane and gradually transformed into healthy bone. The time required for the bone graft to heal ranges from 3-6 months. The dental implant can be placed either at the same time as the bone graft or after the bone graft has totally healed, namely 3-6 months after the bone graft placement.
Reconstruction of a bone defect with a piece (block) of bone
If the bone defect is larger, then it is necessary to place a larger piece of bone in the area which is taken from the patient himself (autologous bone graft). The bone can be taken either from the oral cavity or extraorally. The block of bone is then fixed in place with special titanium screws and allowed to heal. After about 4 months, the screws are removed and the dental implant can be placed.