Patients who are edentulous for a long time, may show atrophy of their jaws. As a result, there is sometimes a lack of retention of the prosthesis. There exists the possibility to obtain sufficient stability and comfort by the use of dental implants. However, if too much bone is lost, it may be necessary to increase the amount of bone.
Donor sites for the bone graft may include the chin region, monocortical cranial bone , anterior and posterior hip graft.
In the upper jaw a "sinus lift " can be performed, in which the mucosa of the maxillary sinus is dissected down and the floor of the sinus is filled with bone. This is done if augmentation is needed for the lateral parts of the upper jaw. In the front, onlay grafts are applied. This region is reconstructed with monocortical cranial bone grafts, which are fixed to the upper jaw by titanium screws.
In the mandible, onlay grafts can be applied in the anterior region. Behind the mental foramen, a lateralization of the inferior alveolar nerve can be done if needed for implants.
The implant surfaces have been improved over the years, and when there is sufficient primary stability, it is even possible to proceed to immediate loading of the implant . It is then referred to as "immediate loading" where the patient can have a fixed bridge in the mouth at the same day. At present, it is already possible that these are being made in the same operation: extractions, implants placement, after which the dental prosthesis is placed immediately - resulting in an enormous improvement in comfort for the patient.
This way you can avoid an edentulous period for the patient.
The information listed above is the opinion of the doctors of the Department of Maxillofacial Surgery, AZ Sint Jan Bruges, Belgium and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the specialty as a whole.