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Sinus Lift

Oral surgeon reviewing patient x-rays for sinus lift and bone grafting procedure Losing your teeth is a serious issue that needs to be addressed as quickly as possible. Dental implants are an incredibly popular treatment used to replace any number of missing teeth, from a single tooth to an entire arch. Dental implants use small titanium posts, which are surgically placed into your jawbone, provide support for your dental restorations. Your bone fuses to these posts, stabilizing them an enabling them to hold your new teeth securely in place. However, dental implants rely on your jawbone for success. If you do not have enough bone mass, it cannot fuse properly. In your upper jaw, insufficient bone mass can cause additional complications. Simon K. Choyee, DDS, Inc. can help with a sinus lift.

Bone Loss and Dental Implants

Dental implants rely on your jawbone for success. As you heal from surgery, your bone fuses to the implant posts, a process called osseointegration. This process stabilizes the posts, essentially turning them into replacement tooth roots. However, when you lose teeth, you begin to lose bone mass. Your teeth provide stimulation for your jaw, which tells your body to send essential nutrients. When you lose teeth, your jawbone receives fewer nutrients. This results in the loss of bone mass. The bone grows weaker over time. If your jawbone has lost too much mass, it will not be able to successfully fuse to the implant posts, which can then result in implant failure.

In your upper jaw, the loss of bone mass has an additional effect when it comes to dental implants, particularly for those located toward the back of your mouth. The roots of some of these teeth reach up toward your maxillary sinus cavities. Losing these teeth results in a thinning of the bone that separates the jaw from the sinus cavities. If the bone becomes too thin, any implants placed can pierce the sinus cavities, which can then result in chronic sinus infections as well as other issues.

What is a Sinus Lift?

A sinus lift is a surgical procedure that makes dental implants possible in the upper jaw by lifting the floors of the sinus cavities and filling in the empty space underneath with bone grafting material. Surgery is done under a local anesthetic and sedation. Small incisions are made in your gums near your molars and premolars. Incisions are then made in the jawbone. Specialized tools are used to push the floors of your sinus cavities upward. Next, the bone grafting material, which can be harvested from your own body or a tissue bank, is placed underneath. After surgery, your surgical wounds are sutured closed. Once you have fully healed from your surgery, your dental implants can then be placed.

Types of Bone Grafts for a Sinus Lift

A sinus lift involves the use of a bone graft. During your initial consultation, we go over your options for bone grafting and are able to help determine the best type of graft to meet your needs.
•  Autograft. An autograft uses bone mass harvested from your own body. It is generally taken from the hip or tibia. Using your bone eliminates the risk of disease transmission and rejection.
•  Allograft. An allograft uses bone mass that is taken from a tissue bank. The bone is screened thoroughly to reduce the risk for complications. There is no need for an additional surgical site to harvest bone mass.
•  Xenograft. A xenograft uses bone mass from a non-human, typically cow, source. Bone is processed at very high temperatures to render it safe for use.
•  Alloplast. An alloplast refers to synthetic bone grafting materials, such as bone morphogenic protein.

With a sinus lift, we can help to strengthen your upper jaw while also protecting your maxillary sinus cavities, enabling us to place dental implants safely and effectively. For more information, and to find out if a bone graft is right for you, call Simon K. Choyee, DDS, Inc. at (562) 947-4781 today.
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