Sinus Lift for Dental Implants
Many of our patients know that dental implants are one of the most highly recommended procedures to replace missing permanent teeth. There are several significant advantages that dental implants offer over bridges, dentures, or other tooth replacement options. Unfortunately, dental implants are not a reality for every patient, but with the introduction of sinus lifts in combination with dental implants, more patients can experience all the benefits that implants have to offer.
Dental implants are small dental devices that replace the appearance and function of your natural teeth. They are composed of two different parts, a small titanium post that is inserted directly into the bone under your gums, and the crown. The crown is attached to the top of the post. Crowns look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth, and with the added benefit of being securely attached, you don’t have to worry about them moving, slipping, or falling out.
However, because dental implants have to be placed directly into the bone, they have not always been an option for patients that have a lower bone density in the bone underneath their gums. Fortunately, sinus lifts have helped to correct this issue for many of our patients.
What is a Sinus Lift?
A sinus lift is a specialized, but common surgery that grafts, or adds, bone to the upper jaw near the molars and premolars. This procedure is technically called a maxillary sinus floor augmentation and has also been called a sinus augmentation, or sinus graft. The surgery is completed by a periodontist, oral surgeon, or specially trained dental clinician.
This surgery moves the maxillary sinus membrane upward to allow for the grafting of additional bone to be grafted to hold your implants in place. While the sinuses are made up of many different parts, the maxillary sinus is located closest to your teeth.
As part of initial consultation to see if a sinus lift is right for you, our offices will complete some imaging, generally through x-rays to assess the current condition of the structures that will be affected. If you are a candidate, we will also discuss more details about the procedure. Part of this may include what type of bone graft you will receive. There are a number of different options for where this material is ascertained.
It can often come from your own body, another human body, a cow bone, or a synthetic material. Each of these approaches has specific advantages, so make sure to ask about what the best option for you might be.
To complete the procedure, an incision is made into the gums and underlying bone. This process pushes up the floor of the sinus cavity. Granules of the graft material are then placed in the space that was just created allows the bone to heal and increase in volume and density. Once the procedure has been completed, the gum tissue is sutured, and the area is allowed to heal. The granules of the bone graft will begin to be incorporated by the body and will soon be a natural and healthy bone that is used to support your dental implant.
Generally, the process to completely heal takes between four and nine months. During this time, you will have some follow up appointments to ensure that everything is healing properly. Once our staff feels that the bone has been properly incorporated and there is enough bone density, we can schedule your implant surgery.
If you are missing a tooth or teeth and have been told that dental implants are not an option for you, contact Barefoot Oral & Facial Surgery today to schedule your consultation. We may be the answer to your problem!