● The maxillary sinuses are behind your cheeks and on top of the upper teeth. These sinuses are empty, air-filled spaces. Some of the roots of the natural upper teeth extend up into the maxillary sinuses. When these upper teeth are removed, there is often just a thin wall of bone separating the maxillary sinus and the mouth. Dental implants need bone to hold them in place. When the sinus wall is very thin, it is impossible to place dental implants in this bone.
● The key to a successful and long-lasting dental implant is the quality and quantity of jawbone to which the implant will be attached. If bone loss has occurred due to injury or periodontal disease, a sinus augmentation can raise the sinus floor and allow for new bone formation. A sinus lift is one of the most common bone grafting procedures for patients with bone loss in the upper jaw. The procedure seeks to grow bone in the floor of he maxillary sinus above the bony ridge of the gum line that anchors the teeth in the upper jaw. By strengthening and growing bone in this location, dental implants can be placed and secured in the new bone growth.
In the most common sinus augmentation procedure, a small incision is made on the premolar or molar region to expose the jawbone. A small opening is cut into the bone, and the membrane lining the sinus is pushed upward. The underlying space is filled with bone grafting material, either from your own body or from a cadaver. Sometimes, synthetic materials that can imitate bone formation are used. After the bone is implanted, the incision is stitched up and the healing process begins. 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.
If enough bone between the upper jaw ridge and the bottom of the sinus is available to stabilize the implant well, sinus augmentations and 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, then the graft will have to mature for several months, depending upon the type of graft material used. Once the graft has matured, the implants can be placed.
The sinus graft makes it possible for many patients to have dental implants when years ago there was no other option besides wearing loose dentures.
A sinus augmentation is generally performed at Dr. Egolum’s office, under local anesthesia. However, some patients also may request oral or intravenous sedative medication as well.
Ridge and sinus augmentations are surgical dental procedures used to fill in areas of the gum line and underlying bone that have deteriorated as a result of tooth loss or extraction. Specifically, a ridge augmentation refers to the reconstruction of degenerated or underdeveloped gums, and a sinus augmentation refers to an enhancement of the amount and consistency of the maxillary jaw bone by lifting the sinus floor and grafting bone into the jaw line. These state of the art procedures are capable of restoring a natural appearance to, as well as making it possible for some patients to qualify for dental implants.
Did you know…
that tooth loss is not the only reason for getting a ridge or sinus augmentation? Many patients have deteriorated gum lines or inadequate jaw bone support caused by oral diseases, such as periodontal disease, or a physical trauma to the face. Others experience bone atrophy caused by prolonged denture wear. By grafting in bone and building up the gum line, a dentist can make it possible for a patient’s jaw and gums to support permanent dental implants.
You may be a candidate for a sinus or ridge augmentation if you have been denied dental implants in the past due to inadequate supporting tissues. You may also qualify if your receded gum line is a source of insecurity or embarrassment. To find out more about sinus and ridge augmentations and whether you qualify, contact your dentist for a consultation today.
Ridge augmentations begin with the administration of a local anesthetic used to numb treatment areas and prevent pain. Graft material will then be placed into the tooth socket where the missing tooth once was. Your dentist will then pull surrounding gum tissue over the graft material and suture it shut. Sinus lift augmentations are similar, except your dentist will instead make an incision to expose the sinus floor and use hard graft materials to build up the sinus floor. The site will be sutured shut and allowed time to heal before additional treatments, such as a dental implant, are completed.
It is normal to experience some swelling and discomfort following your procedure though these symptoms should subside within a few days.
As a substitute to using real bone, many synthetic materials are available as a safe and proven alternative, including:
Bone Morphogenetic Proteins:
The following are the most common causes for jawbone deterioration and loss that may require a bone grafting procedure:
Osteomyelitis is a type of bacterial infection in the bone and bone marrow of the jaw. The infection leads to inflammation, which can cause a reduction of blood supply to the bone. Treatment for osteomyelitis generally requires antibiotics and removal of the affected bone. A bone graft procedure may then be required to restore bone function and growth lost during removal.
Benign facial tumors, though generally non-threatening, may grow large and require removal of a portion of the jaw. Malignant mouth tumors almost always spread into the jaw, requiring removal of a section of the jaw. In both cases, reconstructive bone grafting is usually required to help restore function to the jaw. Grafting in patients with malignant tumors may be more challenging because treatment of the cancerous tumor generally requires removal of surrounding soft tissue as well.
Some conditions or syndromes known as birth defects are characterized by missing portions of the teeth, facial bones, jaw or skull. Dr. Egolum may be able to perform a bone graft procedure to restore bone function and growth where it may be absent.
Bone grafting – also known as ridge and sinus augmentation – is a procedure used to build up the bone beneath the surface of the gums. The bones in the upper and lower arch of the mouth are responsible for supporting the teeth. When one or more teeth fall out, bone resorption occurs naturally. When patients decide to replace missing teeth with dental implants, insufficient bone mass can prevent them from qualifying for the procedure. Bone grafting addresses inadequate bone mass by filling in eroded areas with bone harvested from the patient’s own body, or that of a cadaver or animal. The new bone helps promote new bone growth that will eventually support a dental implant.
Did you know…
that the majority of American adults over age 35 are missing, at least, one natural tooth? What’s more is that 1 in 4 seniors age 74 and older are missing all of their permanent teeth. Although dentures and bridges are a prosthetic option, they do not provide the same benefits available with dental implants. Implant dentistry prevents others from recognizing teeth as ‘false,’ and it also prevents the jawbone from disintegrating and any remaining natural teeth from shifting.
You may be a candidate for dental implants if you are missing one or more teeth. You’ll need a complete surgical consultation with x-rays to determine whether you are in good health and have adequate bone structure to support dental implants. In some cases where the bone is not dense enough to support an implant, surgical bone grafting may make it possible to support one in the future. It is also important to ensure you do not have any existing health conditions, such as gum disease, that could cause complications with your implants.
If your oral surgeon determines that dental implants are right for you, expect the procedure to require multiple visits over the course of several months. The first treatment visit is the one when implants will be surgically placed within your jawbone. You’ll be sedated and under anesthesia during the process to ensure your comfort. Once the implants are in place, an impression will be taken and used to form crowns or dentures that will be secured to implant abutments above the gum line. The implants will need to heal for a period of 6 to 9 months before you can return to have your final crowns or dentures placed.
Dental implant placement is a surgical procedure that requires a period of recovery. During this time, it is common to experience some swelling and soreness, as well as bleeding and minor bruising near the surgical site. Your oral surgeon will recommend eating only soft foods during the first several days following implant surgery. It is also important to follow all instructions for post-surgical care, including cleaning the surgical site and using any medications as prescribed. Be sure to contact your surgeon if you experience any fever or discomfort that worsens after a few days.