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J Contemp Dent Pract. 2007 Sep 1;8(6):57-63.

Augmentation in two stages of atrophic alveolar bone prior to dental rehabilitation: a case report.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, College of Dentistry, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.



The aim of this report is to describe a significantly deficient case of alveolar bone that was managed by alveolar bone augmentation using a technique of distraction osteogensis and onlay bone grafting prior to dental implant placement.


Injury to the teeth and alveolar ridge of the maxillary anterior region can cause a severe alveolar ridge deficiency resulting in ridge atrophy and maxillary retrognathism. The loss of these teeth and alveolar bone together with fibrotic scar formation can result in adverse changes of the interarch space, occlusal plane, arch relationship, and arch form which complicates rehabilitation and can compromise the esthetic outcome. While implant dentistry has become a new paradigm in oral reconstruction and replacement of missing teeth, ideal implant positioning can be compromised by inadequate alveolar bone in terms of bone height, width, and quality of the bone itself. Correction of osseous deficiencies with ridge augmentation allows ideal implant placement and creates a more natural soft tissue profile which influences crown anatomy and esthetics.


A 20-year-old female presented with a complaint of poor esthetics resulting from oral injuries incurred in a traffic accident six years previously. In addition to a mandibular parasymphyseal fracture, five maxillary anterior teeth and the most of the alveolar ridge were lost. Clinical examination revealed severe loss of bone in the maxillary anterior region, an absence of a labial sulcus, loss of upper lip support, and a slight over eruption of the mandibular anterior teeth. In preparation for dental implants a distraction osteogenesis surgical procedure was done to lengthen the height of the alveolar ridge. After a three-month healing period, the width of the residual ridge was found to be insufficient for implant placement. To correct this deficiency, a bone graft of a cortiocancellous block was harvested from the chin and fixed to the labial aspect of the ridge. To facilitate revascularization, small perforations were made in the cortical bone of the alveolar ridge at the recipient site before cancellous bone retrieved from the donor site was gently placed between the bone block and the ridge. The patient was then appropriately medicated and healing was uneventful. After three months, the width of the residual ridge was assessed to be adequate for endosseous implants.


The clinical result reported here has shown several procedures may be necessary for the rehabilitation of a trauma patient. Distraction osteogenesis per se may not always satisfactorily improve the anatomical alveolar anatomy but it has advantages over other methods of augmentation. It can improve the height and also expand the soft tissue for further bone grafting. Augmentation of the alveolar bone with an onlay bone graft often provides the desired gain of bone, allows for the ideal placement of dental implants, and improves any discrepancy between the upper and lower arches.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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