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Volume 28 , Issue 1
January/February 2008

Pages 45-53


The Tunnel Technique: A Different Approach to Block Grafting Procedures

Carlo Mazzocco, MD, DDS/Sergio Buda, MD, DDS/Sergio De Paoli, MD, DDS


PMID: 18351202
DOI: 10.11607/prd.00.0784

The purpose of this study was to report on the tunnel technique, an approach to alveolar ridge augmentation in partially edentulous patients that uses bone blocks immobilized with titanium screws prior to implant placement. Twenty patients (7 men and 13 women) between the ages of 35 and 65 years were treated during a 2-year period with the tunnel technique. The technique consists of creating the tunnel, exposing the crestal defect, harvesting the graft, and final adaptation and stabilization of the graft in the defect site. Nineteen of the 20 patients treated had an adequate level of bone postoperatively to place implants 3.75 or 4 mm in diameter and at least 10 mm in length. None of the patients reported temporary or permanent lower lip paresthesia. There were also no infections reported in the donor sites. This method eliminates the need for a membrane because the integrity of the periosteum is preserved, and it greatly reduces patient discomfort since only one surgical field is needed. The learning curve for this procedure is relatively short. (Int J Periodontics Restorative Dent 2008;28:4553.)


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