ABOUT DENTAL IMPLANTS
Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved.
Dental implants are changing the way people live! With them, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh, and enjoy life.
BONE GRAFTING FOR DENTAL IMPLANTS
Over a period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth atrophies or is reabsorbed. This often leaves a condition in which there is poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for placement of dental implants. In these situations, most patients are not candidates for placement of dental implants. Today, we have the ability to grow bone where needed. This not only gives us the opportunity to place dental implants of proper length and width, it also gives us a chance to restore function and appearance.
SINUS LIFT PROCEDURE
There is a solution called a sinus graft or sinus lift graft. The dental implant surgeon enters the sinus from where the upper teeth used to be. The sinus membrane is then lifted upward and donor bone is inserted into the floor of the sinus. Keep in mind that the floor of the sinus is the roof of the upper jaw. After several months of healing, the bone becomes part of the patient’s jaw and dental implants can be inserted and stabilized in this new sinus bone.
The sinus graft makes it possible for many patients to have dental implants when years ago there was no other option other than wearing loose dentures.
If there is enough bone between the upper jaw ridge and the bottom of the sinus to stabilize the dental implant, sinus augmentations and dental implant placement can sometimes be performed as a single procedure. If not enough bone is available, the sinus augmentation will have to be performed first, and the graft will have to mature for several months, depending upon the type of graft material used. Once the graft has matured, the dental implants can be placed.
If you are missing a small to moderate amount of bone a more conservative sinus lift procedure can be performed using osteotomes. This procedure is usually done simultaneously with dental implant placement and adds minimal time to the implant placement visit.