Tunneling or Subperiosteal Particulate Augmentation
Subperiosteal Particulate Augmentation or “Tunneling”, is a technique used to widen the jaw bone to the place dental implants. Dr. Newhart has been doing this procedure since 1999! Dr. Newhart was trained at the Midwest Implant Institute in Columbus, OH in the externship with Dr. Duke Heller.
The advantage of “tunneling” is that it has a low level of pain and a high success rate with low complications compared to other bone grafting techniques such as “block” bone grafting. However, before tunneling can even be performed, the bone has to be tall or high enough for implants to be placed. After the procedure, the patient does have to wait six months before implants can be placed for bone to heal or solidify. If the implants are not placed within 6-12 months, the jaw bone can shrink back again.
After dental numbing, Dr. Newhart creates a space underneath the gum tissue above the bone. The graft bone material is placed in that space and the body then remodels this new bone. Hopefully, it grows into the new space that was created wide enough for dental implants to be placed.
While results are not guaranteed, Dr. Newhart has had very good success in creating enough bone to place dental implants. Some additional bone grafting is sometimes needed when the implants are placed, but tunneling allows Dr. Newhart to place an implant where one could not be placed before.