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Some people who need dental implants face a particular challenge if the jawbone near the implant site has deteriorated, or atrophied.
Bone grafts—usually taken from inside the mouth, chin, jaw, and in extreme cases, the hip or knee—can now be used to restore the affected area of the implant site.
Types of bone grafts include ridge-augmentation (used to heighten or widen an atrophied jaw ridge), a sinus lift (in which a bone graft is placed on the floor of the sinus), or nerve-repositioning (the nerve serving the lower lip is moved to make room for a lower jaw implant).
Treating denture wearers
In some cases, people who get dentures for the first time need to have their jaw bones restored using bone and soft tissue grafts.
This helps prevent future bone loss under the dentures.
Vestibuloplasty (which can be used if the patient has sufficient jaw bone) involves grafting tissue from the palate or thigh over the bone to provide a larger ridge. Implants may also be used to support a denture.
Soft tissue grafts
Some abnormalities, as well as advanced gum disease that cannot be treated periodontically or non-surgically, may require application of soft tissue grafts. Such procedures can be used to cover an exposed root or correct uneven gum lines.
Soft tissue grafts are small pieces of tissue taken from other areas and surgically implanted in the affected area. This helps to stop bone loss, the recession of gums, and even reduce pain-causing root sensitivity.