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Bone Grafts & Sinus Lifts

Bone Grafting for Dental Implants in Michigan

Dental Bone Graft: Dental Implants | Southfield Family Dental - sinus-lift01If there is not enough jawbone to secure an implant post, your dentist may require a bone graft.

Dental bone grafting is a process where the dentist builds up the bone in an empty socket using a composite material.

When a person loses a tooth or has a tooth removed, he or she is left with a hole that is surrounded by a shell of tooth-supporting bone (or alveolar bone). The only purpose of that type of bone is to support a tooth.

Without a tooth, our bodies can quickly absorb that bone. If a tooth is being removed and quickly replaced with an implant, a simple “socket graft” or “ridge preservation graft” can be performed to protect the space while your body heals and prepares for the implant.

If your tooth has been missing a long time, you lost a tooth due to tooth or gum disease, or you experienced a dental trauma, it can be the case where there is not enough bone to perform a socket graft and your dentist may require a “block bone graft.” A block bone graft uses your existing bone, typically from the back of your jaw where your third molars or wisdom teeth would be. If that bone is not available, the next bone to be considered is your chin bone.

In either case, the dental specialists at Southfield Family Dental Center can perform a bone graft in their local dental office.

A Sinus Lift is a Type of Bone Graft for Upper Teeth

Our upper jaw has unique qualities that make it especially challenging when it comes to dental implants. The biggest difference between upper and lower bone grafting is the presence of our maxillary sinus. We most often notice this sinus when a cold or infection causes swelling of our sinus, which in turn, puts pressure on the roots of the teeth in our upper jaw. (Have you ever noticed your teeth ache when you have a stuffy nose?) As a result, when you lose an upper tooth, there may be very little bone to work with. A “sinus lift” is a procedure where a small opening is made in the sinus above the roots of the affected tooth. The membrane is not compromised, but rather “lifted” to form a small balloon-like space in which to place the composite that will secure the implant.

Sinus Lift or Sinus Augmentation Surgery

A sinus lift is a surgery that adds bone to your upper jaw in the area of your molars and premolars. It's sometimes called a sinus augmentation. The bone is added between your jaw and the maxillary sinuses, which are on either side of your nose. To make room for the bone, the sinus membrane has to be moved upward, or "lifted."

A sinus lift is done when there is not enough bone in the upper jaw, or the sinuses are too close to the jaw, for dental implants to be placed.

There Are Several Reasons for a Sinus Lift

Many people who have lost teeth in their upper jaw — particularly the back teeth, or molars — do not have enough bone for implants to be placed. Because of the anatomy of the skull, the back of the upper jaw has less bone than the lower jaw.

Bone may have been lost because of periodontal (gum) disease.

Tooth loss may have led to a loss of bone as well. Once teeth are gone, bone begins to be resorbed (absorbed back into the body). If teeth have been missing for a long time, there is often not enough bone left to place a dental implant.

The maxillary sinus may be too close to the upper jaw for a dental implant to be placed. The shape and the size of this sinus vary from person to person. The sinus can also get larger as you age.

Sinus lifts have become common during the last 15 years as more people get dental implants to replace missing teeth.

The professionals at Southfield Family Dental Center are experienced in performing Sinus Lifts for their implant patients. They will explain the process thoroughly and answer any questions you may have about bone grafting or implants. Contact us today at (248)234-9987 for a FREE bone graft or implant consultation.