A Modified Crestal Ridge Expansion Technique for Immediate Placement of Implants: A Report of Three Cases

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Abstract

Atrophic edentulous jaws can pose a significant challenge to successful oral rehabilitation with endosseous dental implants. Although ridge augmentation can help to restore ridge volume, grafting procedures can significantly increase patient morbidity, costs, and treatment time, depending on the case, before dental implants can be placed. This article reports on an alternative technique used in 3 patients to expand ridge volume and place dental implants in a single procedure. A partial-thickness flap was elevated to expose the alveolar crest, and conventional implant osteotomies were partially prepared. Along the crest of the ridge, a furrow with terminal vertical releases 1 to 3 mm deep were created, and a bone chisel was used to deepen the furrow. Osteotomes were used to complete preparation of the implant receptor sites, and the implants were placed. Bony plates were stabilized through the use of resorbable sutures. Furrows more than 2 mm deep between the plates were augmented with a xenograft. Collegen membranes were placed over the sites, and soft tissue was sutured. Healing was unremarkable, and all implants were successfully restored. For these patients, the ridge expansion technique resulted in substantial bone reconstruction with little or no grafting. Long-term, prospective studies on this procedure are required before definitive conclusions can be drawn.

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