Dental Implants are an exciting and effective way to replace missing teeth. One implant can be used to restore a single lost or congenitally missing tooth, or several implants can be used to help with any combination of fixed bridges and removable or fixed dentures. Although implants take time and can be expensive, the results are the closest thing dentistry has to giving you back your natural dentition. In order to provide patients with strong implants, sometimes it is necessary to perform pre-implant surgeries to maximize bone support. These include socket preservation/reconstruction, guided bone regeneration, and sinus augmentation.
Socket preservation/reconstruction – When a tooth is extracted, it leaves behind a hole, or socket. There are times when an implant can be placed directly into this socket, however, when too much bone is lost, the socket needs to be filled in, or rebuilt. This includes using bone grafts and membrane in combination with PRP to prepare the site for a stable implant.
Guided Bone Regeneration (GBR) – When a tooth/teeth have been missing for some time, the bone goes through changes that cause it to shrink. GBR is a technique that uses bone grafting, membranes, and PRP to help bulk the bony ridge in order to support an implant. GBR can also be accomplished by a technique called “ridge splitting.” This technique can be used to accomplish both widening the bone and implant placement in one surgery.
Sinus Augmentation – In the upper jaw, placing implants depends on the amount of bone present in reference to your sinuses. In some patients, the sinuses are such that there is not enough bone to safely place an implant. Sinus augmentation can be done either directly, by opening a window into the sinus, or indirectly through the same site used for the implant.