Background and objectives: Iliac crest grafts to augment the maxilla are associated with considerable pain complaints. Therefore, we decided to investigate calvarial bone grafting to augment the maxilla.
Methods: In 19 patients calvarial grafts were taken. Complications were scored, including daily pain levels (Visual Analogue Scale, VAS) at both the donor site and intra-orally. At 4 months, implants were placed and a bone biopsy was taken.
Results: During surgery, 3 times a dural exponation occurred and one time a small dural tear; this was of no consequence. Wound healing progressed uneventful. The first day, pain levels at the calvarial donor site were lower (VAS 1.4 ± 1.7 SD) than of the iliac crest (VAS 7.0 ± 1.5). After 6.5 days both scalp and maxilla were free of pain, whereas iliac crest pain persisted for 30 days. The calvarial grafts healed well and a total of 112 dental implants were inserted without complications. Histologically, active bone remodelling was present.
Conclusion: Calvarial bone grafting seems a safe procedure.
Key words: calvarial graft; morbidity; maxilla-augmentation