Some people do not have enough healthy natural bone to support dental implants. Natural bone insufficiency can be caused by:

couple smiling
Bone Grafting
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth development defects
  • Wearing dentures long term
  • An injury to the face or trauma
  • Spaces left empty in the mouth after teeth are removed
  • Dental procedures where efforts were not made to restore natural bone


Several techniques are used to rebuild bone, restore your natural jaw line and smile, and provide a strong and sturdy foundation for long lasting implant-supported teeth. Dr. Marvil will assess your particular needs and make recommendations for the most effective action plan to help you feel happy and confident with your smile.

Bone Grafts

Bone grafting is a safe and highly successful procedure that involves the “building up” or adding bone to the jaw by using your own natural bone from another location and/or by using processed or synthetic bone materials. Often the new bone can be obtained from inside the mouth.

Your implants will be placed after the grafted bone has fused or become a strong, integrated part of the existing bone. The amount of time the integration takes varies depending on the location of the graft and the density of the bone.

Sinus Lift (Sinus Augmentation or Sinus Elevation)

sinus liftMissing upper back teeth are among the most difficult to restore. When the back teeth in the upper jaw are missing the sinus cavity becomes larger as the natural bone deteriorates over time. A sinus lift, also called sinus augmentation or sinus elevation, is a bone-augmentation procedure for patients who have insufficient natural bone in this area for dental implant placement. The procedure involves adding bone below the sinus so that one or more implants can be placed. The procedure does not affect speech, intonation or cause sinus problems.

After the bone has been given time to develop, usually for approximately four to 12 months, dental implants can be placed. Sinus augmentation, which many patients say causes only minimal discomfort, is designed to help ensure that your implants are long-lasting, with ample, strong and sturdy bone that will allow your new teeth to fit and function like healthy, natural teeth.

Ridge Expansion (Ridge Modification)

If the jaw isn’t wide enough to support dental implants, bone graft material can be added to a small ridge, or space, that is created along the top of the jaw. In some situations, implants can be placed right after a ridge expansion. Other situations require approximately four to 12 months to ensure that the ridge has fully healed first. Like all bone grafting techniques, ridge expansion helps ensure a strong foundation and long lifespan for your new teeth. It also can be used to correct an indentation and difficult-to-clean area in the jawline near missing teeth.

Nerve Repositioning

In some cases, the inferior alveolar nerve, which runs along the lower jaw bone and gives sensation to the upper lip and chin, must be repositioned in order for dental implants to be placed. Dr. Marvil takes great care to ensure you have the look and the feel you need for a great smile.