If you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth, dental implants are a great option for restoring your smile. They offer comfort and stability that goes beyond traditional prosthodontic solutions.
Even though dental implants are a great option for many people, not everyone is an ideal candidate for treatment. Thanks to bone augmentation procedures such as sinus lift, though, more and more people can get dental implants placed. To learn if you are a good candidate for dental implants and a sinus lift, contact our Irving, TX practice today.
The Importance of Proper Bone Density
Having sufficient density in the jawbone is a crucial part of implant dentistry success. After an implant has been placed, it must fuse with the existing jawbone, which is a process known as osseointegration. Only when the implant has fused with the bone structure will it be strong enough to support a prosthodontic appliance.
Since bone loss occurs when a person has been missing a tooth or multiple teeth, there may not be sufficient bone density to support a dental implant. This is when a grafting procedure is performed, adding hard tissue or soft tissue to the treatment area.
What Is a Sinus Lift?
A sinus lift is a type of bone grafting procedure that adds hard tissue to the rear of a person’s upper jaw. This is performed when someone requires a dental implant around the upper molars and premolars.
Using donor bone tissue or artificial bone grafts, additional hard tissue is added to the upper jaw. To make room for this hard tissue, the sinus must be lifted from its usual position.
Ideal Candidates for a Sinus Lift
Good candidates for a sinus lift are people who lack sufficient bone density in their upper jaw or have sinuses that are located too close to the jawbone. In both cases, the procedure helps increase bone density in the upper jaw when it is lacking. The loss of bone density may be the result of tooth loss and gum disease.
Ideal candidates should have realistic expectations about the treatment process, including a good understanding of the risks and benefits involved. Since it will take up to nine months to fully heal from a sinus lift, patients should also understand that the procedure will add time to the overall implant dentistry treatment process.
What to Expect during the Surgical Procedure
The sinus lift procedure is performed using local or general anesthesia as well as sedation to ensure patients are not anxious or in pain. An incision is made along the gums of the upper dental ridge to expose the bone tissue. The membrane that separates the sinus from your jaw is carefully pushed upward. Grafting material is then placed in the area where the sinus was located, which increases bone density in that portion of the upper jaw. Stitches are placed along the gumline once the procedure is complete.
Recovering from Sinus Lift Surgery
In the early weeks of recovery, it’s important for patients to follow all post-op instructions carefully. Blowing your nose and sneezing should be avoided in the first days after surgery, as this can affect the strength of the sutures and even change the position of the bone grafts.
Over the course of the next few months, the bone grafts fuse with the existing bone tissue, creating a solid foundation for dental implants. During your follow-up visits, your oral surgeon or dentist can determine when you are ready to have dental implants placed.
Learn More about Advanced Dental Implant Treatment
If you are interested in dental implants and would like to find out more, we encourage you to contact the team at Radiance Dentistry today. We will be more than happy to answer all of your questions and address your concerns.