There are Now Several Solutions to “Not Enough Bone”

Bone grafting, sinus lifts and zygomatic implants can be considered when the jawbone structure is not sufficient to fit dental implants.

When a tooth is removed, the area of jawbone directly beneath it begins to recede. This loss of bone can continue over time, often resulting in facial changes such as sunken lips or cheeks. It was once thought that dental implants could not be fitted if a patient had insufficient jawbone. Thanks to advances in medical technology, bone can now be rebuilt.

Bone grafting (also known as augmentation) is a highly specialised field requiring advanced training and clinical experience. Melbourne’s Smile Solutions recommends consulting with our registered oral & maxillofacial surgeons if yours is a complex case. Our surgeons:

work in conjunction with our periodontists (specialists in the field of gums and dental bone support):

to assist you with an assessment of bone grafting requirements.


Questions Often Asked about Bone Grafting

Do I need bone grafting?

The sooner a dental implant is placed after a tooth is removed, the less likely the need for augmentation, or grafting. For many patients a 3D scan must be taken to ascertain the volume and quality of their jawbone, and whether bone augmentation is required, before an implant is fitted. This scan is carried out at our practice using the latest in computer 3D imaging technology and is viewed on our high-resolution screens. It also helps in the planning of precise implant placement.


When does the procedure take place?

Bone augmentation can be done either before or during the implant procedure.


What is a sinus lift?

A sinus lift (also known as sinus augmentation) is a procedure to add bone to the upper jaw near the molars and premolars. Bone is added between the jaw and the maxillary sinuses on either side of the nose. To make room, the sinus membrane is moved upward, or “lifted”. In the past eight to 10 years, this has become a routine procedure for patients with multiple long-term missing molar teeth in the upper arch.

bone graft for dental implants


Are there any alternatives to bone grafting?

In some cases where bone grafting is not viable or is deemed unsuitable – that is, for patients with a deficient upper jawbone (and especially in full upper arch rehabilitation where there is a large amount of bone loss) – zygomatic implants can be used. These implants are surgically inserted into the underside of the cheekbones to enable attachment of an implant-retained fixed bridge.


Zygomaticus implants
Zygomaticus implants