Dental implants are the best tooth replacement option for most people. And although most people are candidates for dental implants, some people require a bone graft as part of their procedure, including a sinus lift. This procedure expands the bone so that you have enough to secure your implants. Few dentists are capable of performing this procedure, but Dr. Kendall is highly trained and experienced in this procedure, so we can help more people get dental implants than other dental offices.
Why You Might Needs a Sinus Lift or Bone Graft
Dental implants function like natural teeth because, like natural teeth, their anchored in your jawbones. However, by the time you get your dental implant, there might not be enough bone to secure the implant. That’s when we’d use a sinus lift or other bone graft to expand the bone so your implants can be strong and successful.
But why might you be missing bone in the first place? You might have lost bone as a result of:
- Natural aging
- Gum disease
- Tooth infection
- Extraction procedure
- Time since teeth were lost
People naturally lose bone in the jaw with age. If you have osteoporosis or other bone conditions, you might lack bone density or volume to secure implants.
Gum disease attacks your gums and the bone supporting teeth. If it damages your bone too much, we might have to expand the bone in the areas where your implants will be placed.
If your tooth gets infected, a root canal treatment will remove the infection and can make your tooth functional again. But if untreated, infection can spread from the tooth into the bone, weakening it.
An extraction should be performed to preserve your natural bone, but it isn’t always. Some extractions may damage bone and require treatment to repair it before you get implants.
Your body might also remove bone tissue once your teeth are gone. Teeth (and dental implants) stimulate bone so that your body maintains it. But once the tooth is lost, your body will remove the bone, and there may not be enough left.
Different Types of Bone Graft for Dental Implants
There are many different types of bone grafts that can be used to help your dental implants anchor in the bone.
Bone graft material can be added to the socket of an extracted tooth when the implant is placed. This is very common and doesn’t require any additional treatment time.
Other bone graft procedures may need to heal before the implant is placed. This can add several months before you get to enjoy the final results of your procedure.
Bone grafts can be made from several different sources:
- Your bone
- Human bone from cadavers
- Cow bone
- Artificial bone material
All these options have been shown to be successful in the past. We’ll talk to you about the benefits and limits of each so that you can make an informed decision about which bone graft will work best for you.
How the Sinus Lift Procedure Works
In a sinus lift procedure, we will expand the bone between your mouth and sinus. To do this, we will work through the upper jaw to reach the sinus. The sinus membrane will be elevated slightly to make room for the bone graft material. Then we will add the bone graft here. Finally, we’ll close up the incision and give the bone graft time to heal.
Alternatives to Sinus Lift
For some people, a bone graft may make dental implants seem less desirable. What can be done to avoid bone grafts?
In some cases, an angled implant may reach enough bone to support itself. Other times, we may be able to use more smaller implants to achieve the same result.
You can also decide that you want to not get dental implants after all. In some cases, a dental bridge can give comparable results without a bone graft. Other times, dentures might be used, although they are not as functional or as attractive.
To talk to an Anchorage implant dentist about your options for getting dental implants, please call (907) 274-7691 today for an appointment at Denali Dental Care.