In order to be able to receive dental implants, your jawbone must have the strength and density to be able to support the implants. If your dentist has determined that your jawbone does not fit these requirements, then a bone augmentation will be necessary. There are a few different ways this can be achieved.
A bone graft is a procedure in which you jawbone is built up by using either bone from another part of your body, from a donor, or by using synthetic bone graft materials. In this surgical procedure, the bone graft material is transplanted to your jawbone. It will take several months to heal from this procedure before you are ready to have your dental implants placed.
When a bone graft is required for the area of your jaw that is located above your back upper teeth, it is necessary to also perform a sinus lift. The maxillary sinus is located above your jaw in this area, and in order to place the bone grafting materials, the surgeon must cut through your bone and gently lift the sinus up before the grafting materials can be placed. It can take up to a year before you are ready to have your implants placed after this procedure.
A ridge expansion is another type of bone augmentation surgery. An unfortunate side effect of losing a tooth is that the jawbone that was supporting it will start to reabsorb back into the body. When this happens, an indentation is created in the jaw. A ridge expansion is a bone graft that corrects this type of issue or any other deformity in your jaw that may be preventing you from being able to get implants.