To restore missing teeth, with the placement of dental implants, we may need to perform some preparatory procedures including a possible bone graft or sinus lift. As prosthodontists, Dr. Keith and Dr. Gibbs are professionals in the placement of dental implants, and they know that in order for their implant patients to have longevity of their new implants, it is necessary to perform preparatory procedures for higher rates of successful implantation. During your evaluation at Dental Implant Center at Walnut Creek, we will go over the health and status of your current bone and review if a bone graft or sinus lift is needed for success.
The upper jaw, for most patients, is generally considered one of the most difficult areas to successfully place a tooth implant because there is often insufficient bone or deterioration of that bone. With a sinus lift, we can thicken the bone, making the implantation of tooth implants much more successful.
What Is a Sinus Lift?A sinus lift sounds like it involves a nose job, or to assist patients with breathing issues, but that is not what we are doing in this process. A sinus lift is a bone augmentation, also known as a bone graft, on the upper jaw in preparation for the placement of a dental implant for a tooth restoration, the placement of a bridge, or denture.
There are a few reasons why we may have determined that you need this:
|•||The upper jaw tends to have less bone than the bottom jaw, anyway (some patients may have even less).|
|•||The patient may have less bone on their upper jaw because of tooth loss, either due to extraction or injury.|
|•||The patient may be suffering from chronic periodontitis and has suffered bone loss because of it.|
What Is the Sinus Lift Procedure?After the patient has been given the pain relieving medication that we determine is sufficient, the procedure begins with gaining access to the bone in the upper jaw. This is done by cutting the soft tissues and exposing the bone. Dr. Keith or Dr. Gibbs will then cut a small section of your bone to place granules of bone graft material in the jaw bone. The bone graft material may come from one of three sources: synthetic bone, processed sourced bone, or bone that has been directly taken from the patient.
How much bone is needed is dependent on the patient and their situation, but it is usually measured in millimeters. Once the bone graft is placed, we suture the area closed and allow it to heal. Growing adequate bone can take between four and six months.
We will want the patient to schedule an evaluation to determine how the healing and growing process is going. For some patients, there may be issues with the sinus membrane, requiring extra healing time, or even a repeat of the grafting procedure.
Contact our East Bay office in Walnut Creek, CA. Our dentists, Dr. Keith and Dr. Gibbs are here to answer your questions about sinus lifts, a specific type of bone graft, and preparing your jaw for implant surgery in your upper jaw. Give us a call with questions you may have: (925) 266-3550.