Bone Grafting

Bone Grafting

Major and minor 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.

We now have the ability to grow bone where 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. The bone graft procedures are referred to as:

Sinus lift procedure

This procedure involves elevating the sinus membrane and placing the bone graft onto the sinus floor, allowing implants to be placed in the back part of the upper jaw.


In severe cases the ridge has been reabsorbed and a bone graft is placed to increase the ridge height and/or width.

Nerve- repositioning

The inferior alveolar nerve, which gives feeling to the lower lip and chin, may need to be moved in order to make room for placement of dental implants to the lower jaw.

These procedures may be performed separately or together, depending upon the individual's condition. There are several areas of the body which are suitable for attaining bone grafts. In the maxillofacial region, bone grafts can be taken from inside the mouth, in the area of the chin or third molar region or in the upper jaw behind the last tooth. In more extensive situations, a greater quantity of bone can be attained from the hip or the outer aspect of the tibia at the knee.

These surgeries are performed in the office surgical suite under IV sedation or general anesthesia. After discharge, bed rest is recommended for one day and limited physical activity for one week.

Distraction Osseogenisis

In certain situations where a bone graft is required, a second surgical site to obtain the bone can be avoided by a technique called Distraction Osseogenisis. Cuts are made in the bone directly at the site requireing a bone graft. A special appliance called a distractor is applied to the segments of cut bone is such a way that it seperates the bone very slowly over time. This allows the patient to grow their own bone in this area as well as soft tissues. The appliance must be removed prior to the placement of implants. The time required for healing prior to placing implants is shortened using distraction osseogenisis. Other bone grafting techniques normally require 4-6 months of healing prior to implant placement. Utilizing distraction osseogenesis, implants may be place in 3 months or less.

Dr. Hargan has training and experience using this advanced technique and offers it as a great alternative to traditional bone grafting in the appropiate situation.