Over a period, 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 can grow bone where needed. This not only gives us the opportunity to place an implant of proper length and width, but it also gives us a chance to restore functionality and esthetic appearance.
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.