Dental implants are successfully used in patients who do not have sufficient bone due to new technology that enhances bone growth and healing.
It was not that many years ago that some patients were told that they were not good candidates for dental implants because they did not have sufficient bone. During my 32 years in practice, the technology has advanced so that I am now able to treat patients with dental implants that I was not able to treat 10 to 15 years ago. There are a number of growth factors that we routinely use in our practice today to enhance bone growth. One is platelet-rich plasma or PRP, which is prepared from blood drawn from the patients prior to surgery.
We use the patient’s own blood and we have the technology in the office to separate the platelets that are in that blood sample from the rest of the blood and to prepare a solution called platelet-rich plasma or PRP. These platelets have growth factors that enhance the healing of bone. The platelet-rich plasma is added to freeze-dried bone that is from a bone bank to reconstitute this bone.
This bone is then grafted into the bone defect in the jaw. In my experience the bone/platelet-rich plasma mix tends to dramatically increase bone volume and the healing of the bone. I routinely use platelet-rich plasma in cases with large defects in the bone, to wrap around the dental implants, and in sinus grafting procedures in which we can add bone to the flora of the sinus to gain height in the back part of the upper jaw to prepare the sites of dental implants.
Another way to build bone is to use the synthetic bone protein called bone morphogenetic protein. This protein is also mixed with bone. I use the bone morphogenetic protein in cases where we may need larger areas of bone growth in a more predictable way.
These growth factors are very beneficial to patients, and today many patients can benefit from dental implants who could not have taken advantage of implants in the past due to our ability to enhance bone.
Dr. Leonard Spector