Avoiding Osseous Grafting in the Atrophic Posterior Mandible for Implant-Supported Fixed Partial Dentures: A Report of 2 Cases

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Abstract

Bone atrophy occurs after tooth extraction in the posterior mandible, placing the mandibular canal and its neural, arterial, and venous contents closer to the osseous facial aspect and the coronal crest. This proximity places the structure in danger of damage when dental implants are surgically placed to support fixed or removable prostheses. Several options are available to treat these areas for implant-supported fixed and removable complete or partial dentures. Osseous grafting and ridge expansion are surgical options that enable acceptance of standard sized dental implants but have serious morbidities. Additionally, vertical osseous augmentation is not predictable at this time. Narrow diameter dental implants can be placed to avoid the mandibular canal, but some bone volume situations preclude this. Very wide and very short (6.5 × 5 mm) dental implants may be placed at an angle in atrophic sites to successfully support fixed partial dentures. An anterior guidance occlusal scheme may be used in maxillary dentate patients or group function in maxillary complete denture patients. A 100 micron occlusal relief in fixed partial dentures in dentate patients may be required to account for natural tooth intrusion and to prevent occlusal overload of the implant-supported partial denture.

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