It looks like a screen as shown in this picture. It acts as a barrier and physical support of the gums over the bone graft.
I place and bend it to shape between the gum and the bone to act as a tent. The “tent” holds the shape of the bone while the bone graft material and PRP work to grow new bone. It is held in with bone screws.
With tooth loss, there is bone loss. In some cases, bone loss can be severe. Severe bone loss may cause difficulty for patients wearing a denture or being restored with dental implants.
Vertical bone augmentation grafting is where I use this technique sometimes. Horizontal or width problems can be managed often with bone expansion. The main problem arises from the need to expand the gums and achieve the proper bony architecture.
Here is a case example that I did: (before and after..notice the bone depressions are now filled in)
I use other techniques to achieve the same result including onlay block bone grafting with particulate bone graft, barrier techniques with permanent or disolvable membranes, vascularized bone splitting techniques, sinus lifts, nerve repositioning techniques, short implants, and angled implants. It varies depending on each UNIQUE patient.
Titanium mesh grafting has its downside. You can almost never wear a denture as a temporary over the healing area because the rubbing pressure may cause the mesh to become exposed. If it becomes exposed, some or all of the bone graft can be lost.
The healing time is usually longer than most bone grafts that I do in my Burbank office. The implant teeth are not placed for about 1 year after the bone procedure.
The skill, experience and training of your implant dentist is the most critical factor in titanium mesh bone grafting.
In this article the focus is on augmentation procedures using titanium mesh, which acts as a barrier and physical support of the gums over the bone graft.
Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry