Deformities in the upper or lower jaw can leave you with inadequate bone in which to place dental implants. This defect may have been caused by healing following extraction, periodontal disease, wearing dentures, developmental defects, injury or trauma. Not only does this deformity cause problems in placing the implant, it can also cause an unattractive indentation in the jaw line near the implant restoration that may be difficult to clean and maintain.
To correct the problem, the gum is lifted away from the ridge to expose the bony defect. The defect is then filled with bone, or bone substitute, to build up the ridge. Dr. Gouldin will explain the graft options prior to the procedure. The graft options are based on the extent and location of the defect. Once the graft is secure and contained, the incision is closed and healing is allowed to take place. Depending on your individual needs, the bone will usually be allowed to develop for about four to six months before implants are placed. In some cases, the implants can be placed at the same time the ridge is modified.
The patient shown below had an abscess on her upper left central incisor which destroyed the entire "cheek-side" wall of bone. Dr. Gouldin performed extraction and subsequent hard tissue ridge augmentation with a procedure known as block grafting to allow enough new bone formation for implant placement. After Dr. Gouldin placed the implant, the restoring dentist placed 2 new crowns, one on the natural tooth, and one on the implant. Can you tell which crown is supported by the implant?
Restorative dentist: Dr. Charlton Ho