What is Maxillofacial Surgery?
Maxillofacial surgery refers to the surgical treatment of defects, injuries, and diseases that involve the mouth, jaws, face, neck, and head areas. The surgical treatment is needed to address problems that may not be solved by any other (non-surgical) means.
Maxillofacial Surgery and Implant Treatment
Maxillofacial surgery is involved in an implant treatment in cases when the dental implant needs to surgically be embedded into the jawbone with additional advanced procedures such as Bone Block Transplants or an external Sinus floor elevation. Our Implant Dentists, Dr Ilja Sapiro and Dr Fredi Zellener are experienced in these treatments.
What is Bone Block Grafting?
A bone block graft is a surgical procedure that uses the own patient’s existing bone material, from the chin or the lower jaw areas. This type of bone grafting is used in cases when severe jawbone deterioration has set in, and the bone has thinned out significantly – and will not be able to provide a secure base where the implants can be attached to. The bone graft will add to the existing jawbone, and improve the area so that implants can successfully be placed.
Bone block grafting is typically used for long-term denture users, or those who have suffered from tooth loss for a long period of time. In these cases, significant bone deterioration is common, and the jawbone quality will benefit from a block bone graft.
Autogenous Bone Graft
An autogenous bone graft refers to the use of a grafting material that comes from the patient’s own body. The main advantage of this grafting material is the significantly reduced risk rejection since the material came from the same source (the patient’s own body).
The autogenous bone harvested from the chin or the lower jaw areas will be used on the jawbone area where the implants will be placed, creating walls of bone that will provide firm support for the dental implants.
Other Bone Graft Materials
Other options for bone graft materials include allografts (material harvested from another person other than the patient); xenografts (demineralised bovine bone, harvested from a cow); and synthetic graft materials (such as calcium phosphate).
More About Bone Block Grafting
Bone grafting is an advanced procedure used to augment or add bone mass to the jawbone. This technique is done to improve the quality and structure of a thin jawbone ridge, which will not be enough to support the placement of the dental implants. A bone graft successfully improves the jawbone structure that may have experienced bone deterioration because of long-term tooth loss; bone grafting can also be done in cases when the jawbone is naturally thin or insufficient to hold implants in place.
The bone graft material is allowed to integrate with the rest of the jawbone tissue. After the healing period, the jawbone will have enough structure and quality to support the dental implants in place.
Watch the Bone Grafting Animation
This example is assuming that a patient does not have enough bone in the front of the upper jaw. Initially the patient is Sedated for maximum comfort. The gum flap is detached from the jaw bone (indicated by the yellow lines).
Once the gum flap is detached from the jaw bone, small holes are made into the jaw bone. (These holes help the additional bone to integrate with the jaw bone, creating robust bone).
Bone is taken from the back of the patients jaw or chin area (known as Block Grafts) and secured over the jaw bone with small titanium screws. Irradiated Cancellous Bone is also added (Sterile Manufactured Bone) to aid the integration process between the Block Graft and the Jaw Bone.
The bone is left to heal for a period between 2-3 months. After this period the bone will have fully integrated and robust enough to acc