Oral Surgery and Bone Grafting

Shannon H. McCarthy, DDS treats a wide range of problems in both adults and children. These can include:

  • extraction of teeth / wisdom teeth
  • surgical procedures to aid orthodontic treatment
  • bone grafts
  • biopsy and treatment of cysts, tumors and growths of the jaws
  • treatment of infections
  • treatment of traumatic injuries to the teeth, jaws and facial bones including jaw and facial fractures
  • non invasive treatment of TMJ and facial pain problems

Please do not hesitate to call us for an assessment of your particular case.

Wisdom TeethWhat are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are third molars that usually appear between the ages of 16 and 25 at the back of the mouth. They are commonly extracted when they affect other teeth - this is known as "impacted wisdom teeth". Wisdom teeth can grow unnoticed until they start to cause issues in the mouth.

The Wisdom Tooth Surgical Procedure

Wisdom teeth are extracted either because they have already become impacted or because they are potentially problematic. The extraction of wisdom teeth can be a troublesome procedure. For more complicated procedures Shannon H. McCarthy, DDS will recommend an oral surgeon.

Bone Graft

Over a period of time, the jaw bone associated with missing teeth atrophies or shrinks. 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.

We now 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 functional and esthetic appearance. The bone graft procedures are referred to as:

  • Bone Grafting (Trauma)
  • Sinus lift procedure

Bone Grafting (Trauma)

Bone grafting can repair implant sites with inadequate bone structure due to previous extractions, gum disease or injuries. The bone is either obtained from a tissue bank or your own bone is taken from the jaw, hip or tibia (below the knee.) Sinus bone grafts are also performed to replace bone in the posterior upper jaw. In addition, special membranes may be utilized that dissolve under the gum and protect the bone graft and encourage bone regeneration. This is called guided bone regeneration or guided tissue regeneration.

Major bone grafts are typically performed to repair defects of the jaws. These defects may arise as a result of traumatic injuries, tumor surgery, or congenital defects. Large defects are repaired using the patient's own bone. This bone is harvested from a number of different sites depending on the size of the defect. The skull (cranium), hip (iliac crest), and lateral knee (tibia), are common donor sites.

Sinus lift procedure

The maxillary sinuses are behind your cheeks and on top of the upper teeth. Sinuses are like empty rooms that have nothing in them. Some of the roots of the natural upper teeth extend up into the maxillary sinuses. When these upper teeth are removed, there is often just a thin wall of bone separating the maxillary sinus and the mouth. Dental implants need bone to hold them in place. When the sinus wall is very thin, it is impossible to place dental implants in this bone.

There is a solution and it's called a sinus graft or sinus lift graft. Shannon H. McCarthy, DDS enters the sinus from where the upper teeth used to be. The sinus membrane is then lifted upward and donor bone is inserted into the floor of the sinus. Keep in mind that the floor of the sinus is the roof of the upper jaw. After several months of healing, the bone becomes part of the patient's jaw and dental implants can be inserted and stabilized in this new sinus bone.

The sinus graft makes it possible for many patients to have dental implants when years ago there was no other option other than wearing loose dentures.

If enough bone between the upper jaw ridge and the bottom of the sinus is available to stabilize the implant well, sinus augmentations and implant placement can sometimes be performed as a single procedure. If not enough bone is available, the Sinus Augmentation will have to be performed first, then the graft will have to mature for several months, depending upon the type of graft material used. Once the graft has matured, the implants can be placed.