When you lose your teeth, several things begin to happen. While many of the effects of tooth loss are apparent right away, there is also an effect that occurs below the gum line. Tooth loss leads to bone loss in the jaw. Dental implants have become a popular treatment for replacing missing teeth. However, for them to be placed, you need to have sufficient bone mass remaining. Without it, your implants may not fuse properly, or at all. In your upper jaw, implants can also pose issues for the sinus cavities. Plymouth Ann Arbor Oral & Facial Surgery can help make implants possible with a sinus graft.
What is a Sinus Graft?
There are multiple sinus cavities located in the skull. The maxillary sinus cavities are located just behind your cheeks, above your upper jaw. The roots of some of your teeth reach toward the sinus cavities, separated by a layer of bone. If these teeth are lost or extracted, the bone separating the jaw from the sinus cavity thins. If implants are then used to replace these teeth, there is a risk that the posts could pierce through the cavity. If this happens, you are then at risk for chronic sinus infections and other complications.
A sinus graft, or sinus lift, is a surgical procedure that is designed to restore a layer of bone between the jaw and the floor of the sinus cavity. This makes it possible to place dental implants while protecting the sinus cavities from harm. During the procedure, the floor of the sinus cavity is lifted up, and a grafting material is placed in the empty space underneath. The grafting material is taken either from your own body or a donor. Not only does it protect the sinus cavities, but it also helps to provide greater stability for your dental implants.
Types of Bone Grafts for Sinus Grafting
Sinus grafting involves the use of a bone graft. There are a few different types of bone graft that can be used. We will go over your options during your consultation to find the option that will provide you with the best results.
The Sinus Graft Procedure
A sinus graft is typically performed under a local anesthetic. Sedation may be used as well to help you relax. We begin with small incisions in the gums near the molars and premolars. Next, incisions are made in the bone. We then lift the floor of the sinus cavity up and place the grafting material in the empty space. The gums are then stitched closed, and you begin the healing process. As you heal, your bone fuses to, or around, the grafting material. Once you have fully healed, we can then begin the process of placing your dental implants.
If you are missing teeth, but placing dental implants could compromise your sinus cavities, a sinus graft can help. Call Plymouth Ann Arbor Oral & Facial Surgery at (734) 455-0710 today to schedule your consultation and find out if a sinus graft is right for you.