Today, more people are going for dental implants than ever before—and with good reason. Dental implants are the best and most practical option for tooth replacement. Unlike other options, dental implants last a long time and are good for your jawbone health and look, feel, and act like natural teeth.
Despite all the benefits of dental implants, not everyone can get one immediately. Some patients can have a condition where their jawbone is insufficient to support an implant. Most often, this condition affects the upper jawbone. You will need a sinus lift before the dentist performs a bone graft in such situations.
What Is a Sinus Lift?
A sinus lift, as mentioned above, is a procedure that a dentist performs on your upper jawbone. It is usually recommended when you have poor bone density to support implants. Without enough jawbone density, the chances of implant failure are significantly high.
A sinus lift is also known as a sinus graft or sinus augmentation. Several specialists can perform the procedure, including oral surgeons and periodontists. Depending on the nature of your bone structure and other factors, the surgeon can use several techniques.
What Is the Purpose?
A sinus lift is a procedure that raises your maxillary sinus to create more room. The maxillary sinus is an air-filled cavity just above the upper jaw, towards the back. When the surgeon lifts the sinus, they create space for a bone graft to be inserted safely. Poor bone density leads to implant failure, making it impossible to chew well with your implants.
You can have poor bone density because of bone loss over the years. Here are some common reasons for poor bone density:
· Severe gum disease.
· Congenital defects.
· Natural occurrence of large sinuses and thin jawbone.
Another common reason is bone loss due to tooth loss. When you lose a tooth, the jawbone underneath begins to grow thin as it is reabsorbed back into the body.
When Is a Sinus Lift Necessary?
So, how do dentists know that you need a sinus lift? The Foundation of Oral Rehabilitation has a guide for when a sinus lift is necessary. It says that a dentist can and should recommend a sinus lift if you have a bone height of less than four to six millimeters.
What Happens Before a Sinus Lift?
One of the first things that a maxillofacial surgeon will need to determine once they know you need the procedure is where they will get the bone graft. They will consider the following options:
· Harvesting the bone from your own body.
· They can harvest bone from a cadaver.
· They can use bone harvested from a cow.
· They can use synthetic bone material.
What they decide on will depend on a few tests they can run. The most common is an X-ray of your mouth and sinuses so they can determine which option will work best.
What to Expect in a Sinus Lift Procedure
The procedure is relatively straightforward. The surgeon will cut the gum tissue and raise it to expose the bone. Then, they cut a small hole into the bone and lift the cut bone into the sinus cavity to raise it. Then the surgeon will place the bone graft in the newly created space. After this, they will use sutures to close the incision in the gums.
For more on the purpose of a sinus lift, visit Weston Center for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at our office in Weston, Florida. Call (954) 507-6441 to book an appointment today.