When it comes to teeth replacement using dental implants, the location of the missing teeth can matter. All dental implants require enough underlying bone structure to support the full implant. Therefore, when replacing the upper premolar or molar areas of the jaw, some patients lack enough bone density and height in that region. They often have expanded sinus cavities due to previous bone loss. The first step, therefore, is to perform a sinus lift so that the sinuses can move away from the roots of the upper teeth or to create additional bone in the area.
What Happens During a Sinus Lift?
Based on your specific needs and the amount of existing bone, you may have one of two types of sinus lift procedures. In both cases, you can expect to receive a local anesthetic to numb the area first. In one type sinus lift procedure, we will make a small opening in the bone to access the sinus cavity and then gently lift the sinus into a better position. This can encourage natural bone growth to fill the newly created space. However, many patients also have a bone grafting material placed along the existing bone. In the second form of the sinus augmentation, the sinuses are not actually lifted. Instead, bone grafting material is applied to the floor of the sinus to increase the bone height and qualify you for dental implants.
What Happens Next?
In most cases, patients need between 4 and 9 months to heal from a sinus lift procedure. Afterwards, dental implants can be placed because there is now sufficient bone to surround the implant post and foster osseointegration (implant fusing to jaw bone). While the recovery may seem lengthy, the extra wait to get dental implants is worth it. Without the procedure, some patients would not qualify for dental implants in the upper premolar or molar regions of their smile. Bone grafting and sinus lifts are commonly performed procedures, and they can be the solution you need to regain a confident and secure smile after missing teeth.
Have you been told you don’t qualify for dental implants due to bone loss? Call Dr. Wayne Suway. Dr. Wayne Suway is an expert in his field and has helped countless patients take advantage of this gold standard solution in restorative dentistry!