Losing a tooth in the upper row of your teeth as an adult can be an unfortunate experience for cosmetic and practical reasons. Getting a dental implant is the appropriate solution to this problem. Sometimes, however, another problem is discovered: bone loss. If you lose a tooth and it is discovered that you have significant bone loss due to — for instance — advanced periodontal disease, then it is likely that you will need to have a sinus lift prior to the placement of a dental implant. Here, we discuss what exactly a sinus lift is and why it is necessary in these cases.
What is a Sinus Lift?
A dental implant in the upper row of teeth requires sufficient bone to support the implant. If it is discovered that you don't have the required amount, then a sinus lift is likely necessary before the implant is performed.
A sinus lift includes bone grafting. The dental implant surgeon enters the sinus from where the upper teeth used to be. The sinus membrane is then lifted upward and bone material 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. The bone graft can be obtained from one of three sources: (1) your own bone; (2) someone else’s bone; or (3) a synthetic.
A sinus lift may be necessary if the collapse of the sinus floor was not prevented. In other words, if your tooth has been missing for a while, then the sinus floor has had ample time to lower. A sinus graft will be necessary to increase the bone height and ensure the stability of a new dental implant. If you should get a dental implant without the recommended sinus lift, then you run an increased chance of implant failure.
The sinus augmentation will be performed first. The graft will mature for several months, and then the dental implants can be placed.
Contact a Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon Today
At Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we have been offering sinus lift procedures for many years and know the positive effects these procedures have on the success and longevity of our patients' dental implants. We are skilled experts, and if you need a dental implant along with a sinus lift, contact us or visit one of our convenient locations. We are here to answer your questions.