Treatment of the problematic alveolar-deficient case can be achieved by nonsurgical prosthetics, various bone-grafting procedures, and/or soft tissue manipulation. The patientís desires determine what treatment plan and procedure is selected. Oral and maxillofacial surgery treatment has evolved from the use of iliac and tibial bone for reconstruction of jaw bone defects to the use of morphogens, biomimetics, and bone graft substitutes. Surgeons have also developed better ways to manipulate available alveolar bone through the use of osteoperiosteal flaps. The vast majority of alveolar deficiencies can be treated with the use of the so-called alveolar bone flap. The bone flap, sandwich bone graft, alveolar width distraction, and alveolar vertical distraction are examples of surgical applications of the osteoperiosteal flap used to solve difficult surgical-prosthetic problems.
Ole T. Jensen, DDS, MS, is a faculty member of the University of Colorado School of Dentistry and maintains a private practice in Denver focusing on reconstructive surgery of the jaws. He is the editor of The Sinus Bone Graft (Quintessence, 2006) and Alveolar Distraction Osteogenesis (Quintessence, 2002).