When we are planning for dental implants, there’s a lot that we need to keep in mind. One important factor is the anatomy of your face.
As you lose teeth, your bone becomes diminished. This is because the root that used to stimulate the bone to maintain itself is now gone. As the bone resorbs, it thins. This has a number of significant effects:
- Other teeth will become loose and, eventually, lost.
- The shape of your face may change.
- The diminished bone cannot support a dental implant.
- The sinus floor may shift downward, near the bone structure.
If there isn’t sufficient bone volume beneath the sinus, it isn’t appropriate to place dental implants. In some cases, you might be ruled out as a candidate for dental implants and provided with different treatment options.
At South Shore Long Island Periodontics & Implantology, however, our doctors are skilled in advanced techniques that can allow for dental implant placement in more challenging cases. One such advanced technique is the sinus lift.
What Is a Sinus Lift?
This surgical procedure, which is also known as a sinus augmentation, adds bone to the upper jaw structure, in the area between the jaw and the sinuses on either side of your nose (known as the maxillary sinuses).
In order to do this, we “lift” the sinus – or move it upward.
How Do You Know I Need a Sinus Lift?
Imaging technology like our I-CAT® 3-D CT cone beam scanner can give us an incredibly detailed view of your face and its structures. We will be able to see clearly that your bone is diminished and that your sinus is too close to the bone structure.
Where Does the Extra Bone Come From?
We have different options when it comes to obtaining donor bone. We can obtain FDA-approved donor or synthetic bone from a bank accredited by the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB). In some cases, we can even obtain bone from your own body.
How Is a Sinus Lift Done?
Your doctor will open up the gum tissue in the area that requires treatment so that he can access the bone and the sinus lining membrane. The membrane will be gently detached and positioned upward, away from the jaw bone.
The next step is to add the donor bone. This process is known as bone grafting. You might already be familiar with the concept since it’s the same idea as skin grafting. The material that is combined with the donor bone will allow it to actually mesh with and integrate with your own bone.
The next step is the healing process, which usually takes between four and nine months and depends on a number of factors including the amount of bone that we have placed.
After you have healed and the bone has integrated fully, we will be able to place dental implants.
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- Scaling & Root Planing (SRP)
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- Sinus Procedure
- I-CAT® Cone-Beam CT Scan
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