The Art of Dental Confidence
When teeth are lost, sometimes the bone around them is lost as well. If so this may need to be built back if implants are to be placed. There are various types of bone augmentation that may be required in different situations, and if you need one of these we will explain to you why and how this is carried out. Not everyone needs this as part of their treatment, in fact most implant treatments don’t, but where there is a lack of bone all of our surgeons are extremely well-trained for this type of specialised procedure.
This is carried out at the time of implant placement, and you will be unaware of the procedure apart from taking a few more minutes of surgery time. Bone is added around the implant where there are small deficiencies in your own bone. This will help to maintain the look of the implant crown where it comes out of the gum. There are various material options to use for this technique, and we have chosen our favoured materials following careful research. We will explain what the material is and why it should be used in the cases where it is required. Some of the materials used have animal derivatives – however if you would like us to use man-made alternatives we will be pleased to offer this.
The bones that make up your face are hollow and contain air spaces known as sinuses. The sinuses that sit above your upper back teeth are known as the maxillary sinuses. When an upper posterior tooth is lost, the floor of the maxillary sinus drops down into the space formerly occupied by the root of the lost tooth. In order to place an implant, it is often necessary to put the sinus floor back up to where it originally was by adding a bone substitute. This procedure is called a sinus floor bone augmentation or a “sinus lift”.
The most widely-used material for grafting in implants is a very safe material called Bio-Oss and it is derived from cow-bone. It has been specifically treated to remove all of the protein from the graft material, so there is absolutely no risk of developing mad-cow disease or foot-and-mouth. It has been used for over 30 years without any problems and it is our graft material of choice in most situations. You can find out more about this material at www.geistlich.co.uk It is often necessary to contain the graft material using a membrane (just as a bucket will help to hold sand in the shape of a sandcastle). Some membranes are dissolvable and therefore do not need to be removed at a later stage and these are the ones that we use whenever possible. The most widely used dissolvable membrane in the world is made from collagen taken from pigs and is extremely safe. To find out more please go to www.geistlich.co.uk Occasionally there are good reasons why we may choose a different material for your graft or membrane and we would explain these to you. Alternatively, you may have a strong preference for us to use one material over another and if so, you should let us know well in advance.
Though rarely required, when a lot of bone has been lost from the front part of the upper jaw, it is occasionally necessary to build this back using a block of bone from the patient – in exactly the same way that a building block may be used to build a wall. This bone is usually taken from the back of the lower jaw though occasionally it may instead be taken from the chin. This block of bone is securely attached to the deficient ridge using tiny titanium bone-screws and will allow dental implants to be placed once the block graft has healed. Call 01444 474 015 for more information