Bone Grafting & Tissue Regeneration for Dental Implants and Other Reconstruction

The loss of a tooth has significant long-term consequences, one of which is that it initiates a cascade of bone loss due to lack of function (atrophy). Bone loss slowly increases over time but can become evident in less than a year. This is accelerated after years of denture wear sometimes to the point of potential jaw fractures. This atrophy often leaves a situation 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 without bone regenerative procedures.

Today, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons are the experts given their training and ability to grow bone where needed with the use of bone grafts and other regenerative techniques. This allows us to place implants of proper dimension in the correct position to restore functionality and facial appearance even in cases of severe bony deficiency.

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Conventional Bone Grafting

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons have been the recognized the premiere experts for years in bone grafting technology in the oral and facial region. Bone grafting can repair implant sites with inadequate bone structure due to tooth loss, cysts and tumors, or other injuries.

Two types of bone grafts are typically used depending upon the type of defect to be repaired. A common graft material used in dental implantology is human donor bone (allogeneic bone) obtained from a certified tissue bank. This essentially sterile product is much like a ceramic that supports and promotes the growth of new bone. Frequently, this product is used in fresh extraction sites to preserve or reconstruct residual bony defects. These bone grafts are frequently augmented with the use of membranes (membrane guided tissue regeneration), which shape and preserve the graft during maturation.

Another type of bone graft is harvested from the patient (autogenous bone) and transferred to the defect site. It frequently is obtained from elsewhere in the jaws but if the volume needed is great enough, bone is obtained from another area such as the hip (pelvis), the tibia (below the knee), or even the cranium and rib. These major bone grafts are also used to repair large defects of the jaws, orbits, and face. Such defects may arise as a result of traumatic injuries, tumor surgery, or congenital defects. These procedures frequently are performed in an operating room setting such as our adjacent ambulatory surgery center (Pasadena Ambulatory Surgery Center) but may require an overnight hospital stay.

New Technology In Bone Regeneration

Amazing new developments in bone regeneration are changing many of the basic ways we as Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons reconstruct the oral & facial region. These techniques in many ways are replacing the need for autogenous bone grafts. Drs. Elias, Jun, Stephens and Verratti and The Pacific Coast Center for Oral, Facial and Cosmetic Surgery offer these new technologies and incorporate them when indicated to provide our patients with the most up-to-date care possible. The following are some of these new technologies.