Bone Grafting for Dental Implants in Michigan
If you have too little jawbone to secure an implant post, your dentist may recommend a bone graft.
Dental bone grafting is a process in which the dentist builds up the bone in an empty socket.
When a person loses a tooth, he or she is left with a hole surrounded by a shell of tooth-supporting bone (or alveolar bone). Without a tooth, your body can quickly absorb that bone. If a tooth is being removed and replaced with an implant, a 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, if you lost a tooth due to disease or if you experienced a dental trauma, there may not be enough bone to perform a socket graft and your dentist may require a block bone graft. A block bone graft uses existing bone, typically from the back of your jaw where your third molars or wisdom teeth would be, or in some cases, bone from your chin.
In any case, the dental specialists at Southfield Family Dental Center can perform a bone graft in our local dental office.
A Sinus Lift Is a Type of Bone Graft for Upper Teeth
The upper jaw has unique qualities when it comes to dental implants.
The biggest difference between upper and lower bone grafting is the presence of the maxillary sinus. You probably don't even notice this sinus until a cold causes swelling which, in turn, puts pressure on the roots of the teeth in your upper jaw. (Have you ever noticed how your teeth ache when you have a stuffy nose?) As a result of this sinus, there may be limited bone with which your dentist can work. 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 performed when there is not enough bone in the upper jaw or when 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. Additionally, the shape and size of this sinus can vary from person to person. The sinus also can 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 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.