Over a period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth atrophies or is reabsorbed. This often leaves a condition in which there is poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for placement of dental implants. In these situations, most patients are not candidates for placement of dental implants.
When teeth are lost of removed, the bone that previously supported those teeth no longer serves a purpose and begins to deteriorate or resorb. In cases of multiple missing teeth, this can lead to the collapse of the facial structure. The purpose of a bone graft is to replace lost bone and restore the bone structure so that an implant can be properly placed. (figure 2: Pre-op bone graft, figure 3: Post-op bone graft)
Today, we have the ability to grow bone where needed. This not only gives us the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width, it also gives us a chance to restore functionality and esthetic appearance.