The reconstruction/augmentation of both small and large bone structures is usually performed on an outpatient basis. The healing process lasts around a maximum of one week, where after the patient can return to eating normally. Whilst smaller dental alveoli bone defects can be corrected by standard surgical procedures through the use of bone replacement materials, for larger defects bone grafts are required.These grafts can either be taken directly from the oral cavity or in the case of very pronounced bone deficiency, obtained from the pelvis or lower limbs.
Through a process known as distraction osteogenesis (bone elongation), the jaw bone can also be increased both in height and width. This method has the advantage in that it not only increases bone volume but also the surrounding soft tissue area as well. A new alveolar crest splitting method now allows the tissue to reproduce itself and ensures an increase in ridge width. Different surgical procedures on the mucous membrane are used to improve implant durability as well as the optimisation of gum aesthetics.
Thanks to the development of new plate designs and new materials (eg. self-dissolving plates and screws), complex jaw fractures (broken jaws) can be repaired faster and with less damage caused to the tissue.
- Simple lower jaw fractures can be repaired with resorbable osteosynthesis (self-dissolving plates and screws). Thanks to this material a second operation to remove the plates and screws is no longer necessary.
- Thanks to the development of a special plate (Wagner et al.), the technically complex operation to repair condylar process fractures (lower jaw fractures), can be carried out through intraoral access (access through the oral cavity). Immediately after surgery the patient may begin a diet of soft foods. The risk of a shortening of the ramus (neck of the lower jaw) and therefore misalignment of the teeth, which frequently occurs in a more conservative approach, is virtually eliminated with this innovative surgical procedure.
- Treatment through surgery of certain TMJ fractures (jaw joint fractures) should always be considered; as the risk of loss of mobility in the jaw through a lack of surgery is significantly higher than when a surgical intervention is applied. (Neff et al. 2002).