Other Grafting Technologies

Alveolar Ridge Expansion

In situations where severe resorption of the bony alveolar ridge has left a narrow inadequate platform for implant placement, ridge expansion can be used to improve the area. This is a technique used to restore the lost bone width.

In this procedure, the bony ridge is carefully cut lengthwise and opened, expanded the width by mechanical means. Bone graft material can be placed in between the two sides of the expanded ridge. After maturing for a few months, implants can be placed. Frequently though, implants can be place at the same time the ridge is expanded reducing total healing and treatment time. This type of expansion is typically very predictable and stabile due to preservation of the blood supply to the bone flap.

Alveolar Ridge Distraction Osteogenesis

Distraction osteogenesis (DO) is a relatively new method of treatment for selected deformities and defects of the oral and facial skeleton. The concept though was first conceived in 1903. In the 1950’s, a Russian orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Gabriel Ilizarov slowly perfected the surgical and postoperative management of distraction osteogenesis to correct deformities and repair defects of the arms and legs. His work went mostly unnoticed until he presented to the Western Medical Society in the mid-1960’s.

Distraction osteogenesis was initially used to treat defects of the oral and facial region in 1990. Since then, the surgical and more importantly technological advances made in the field of distraction osteogenesis have provided oral and maxillofacial surgeons with a safe and predictable method to treat selected deformities of the oral and facial skeleton including vertical defects in the alveolar ridge (bony ridge housing the teeth). In these specific vertical defects, the alveolar ridge can be slowly moved to increase height with the assistance of a small appliance fixed to the bone. After healing, the ridge is now positioned properly for the placement of dental implants.

Drs. Elias, Stephens and Jun use distraction osteogenesis to treat selected deformities and defects of the oral and facial skeleton. If you have questions about distraction osteogenesis and how it may apply to you, please call our office and schedule an appointment with Drs. Elias, Stephens or Jun.

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