Tooth loss is a serious issue and one that can affect every aspect of your life, including the functions of your mouth, your oral health, and your appearance. Dental implants, a fairly recent and revolutionary development in the field of dentistry, are one of the most popular options for replacing missing teeth and restoring your quality of life. While they require a surgical procedure for placement, they provide a host of benefits over traditional tooth replacement options. Implants rely on the fusion of the jawbone to the titanium rods that are inserted into the jawbone. However, the jaw naturally begins to lose bone mass when teeth are lost. If you have lost too much bone mass, fusion may not occur properly, and the implants may fail. In the upper jaw, bone loss also increases the risk for implants to pierce the sinus cavity. At Plymouth Ann Arbor Oral & Facial Surgery, we can help with a sinus lift.
What Is a Sinus Lift?
Your head has multiple sinus cavities. Two of these cavities, the maxillary sinus cavities, are located right above your upper teeth, just behind each of your cheeks. The roots of some of the teeth in the upper jaw extend toward these sinus cavities, coming into very close proximity. If you lose these teeth or have these teeth extracted, a layer of bone that separates the roots and the cavities is lost.
Bone mass is essential for the stability and success of dental implants. Missing too much bone mass can result in implant failure. In the upper jaw, there is also the risk of piercing the sinus cavities, which can result in chronic sinus infections and other problems.
A sinus lift is a procedure that is done to make dental implants possible while reducing the risk of harm to the sinus cavities. It involves lifting the floor of the sinus cavity and filling the space left behind with a bone replacement material, a bone graft.
Bone Graft Types
Bone grafts are a procedure done to restore missing bone mass in your jaw, in essence restoring its strength and integrity. It can be done anywhere in the jaw where implants are needed, and natural bone mass is scarce. In the case of a sinus lift, the bone graft is done under the sinus cavities, adding additional support and a layer of protection. There are a few different types of bone grafts that we go over with you during your consultation.
How Is a Sinus Lift Done?
A sinus lift is a surgical procedure. We begin by administering a local anesthetic and providing you with sedation. Next, small incisions are made in the gums near the premolars and molars, followed by an incision in the jawbone. Using specialized tools, we lift the floor of the sinus cavity and place the graft material into the space. Finally, the gums are sutured closed, and you go home to heal. Following your recovery from your sinus lift, we can then begin the process of placing dental implants.
Am I a Candidate for a Sinus Lift?
Before undergoing a sinus lift, we perform a thorough examination, making sure that the procedure is truly the best solution for your needs. Candidates for a sinus lift include patients who:
A sinus lift raises the floor of the sinus cavity and restores missing bone mass, making implants possible in the upper jaw. For more information, and to find out if a sinus lift is right for you, call Plymouth Ann Arbor Oral and Facial Surgery at (734) 455-0710 today.