At Riverwind Dental we offer procedures such as a sinus lift to add bone in the upper jaw so it can receive a dental implant. If you have been told bone loss in the jawbone precludes you from dental implants, this procedure can help to increase the height and depth of the jawbone to make it viable for a dental implant.
What is a Sinus Lift?
A sinus lift is sometimes referred to as sinus augmentation or a bone graft. It is a surgical procedure where the bone is taken from elsewhere on your body, or synthetic bone, is grafted onto the jawbone where bone loss has occurred. The grafted bone is placed in the space between the molars and premolars. This space is also between the jaw and maxillary sinuses, and sometimes the sinus membrane needs to be lifted upward out of the way because it is too close to the jawbone, hence the name of the procedure.
What Causes Bone Loss?
Bone loss may be caused by several factors. The most common factor causing this loss is advanced periodontal disease or tooth loss.
Advanced Periodontal Disease
Advanced periodontal disease is a severe form of gum disease. While gum disease in its early stages can be reversed, and cured, once it has progressed to periodontal disease, it can no longer be cured.
While gum disease affects the gum tissue around the base of the tooth, once it progresses to periodontal disease it compromises all of the supporting structures of the tooth, including the jawbone where the tooth root is embedded. Untreated, it compromises the bone and soft tissue around the teeth, eventually leading to tooth loss. However, with an appropriate dental hygiene regime that encompasses brushing and flossing twice daily, and regular prophylactic treatments with a dental hygienist, such as root planing, scaling, and polishing, the disease can be stopped from progressing.
Tooth Loss Caused by Trauma or Extraction
If you do not have periodontal disease and have lost a tooth some other way, for example, an accident, during the healing process after a tooth’s loss or removal, there will be significant resorption of the bone, which may reduce the height of the bone by as much as 50%.
What is the Procedure for a Sinus Lift?
A sinus lift requires bone to be grafted onto the jawbone. This will need to be harvested from another part of your body, or it could come from a cow or other animal. One of the most common options these days is to use a synthetic material, called hydroxyapatite, which is strong and very effective for grating.
The procedure may be carried out with conscious sedation, or a local anesthetic. After an incision to expose the jawbone has been made in the gum where the missing teeth were, the grafting material is placed in the bone via a small hole that is made in the jawbone. The gum is stitched over to cover the bone and graft and left to heal. It may take up to a year, but the grafting material and bone will fuse together, adding the required volume to the jawbone to safely place an implant.
Find out more about sinus lifts at Riverwind Dental. Contact us by calling us at (804) 280-0853 to schedule an appointment with one of our experts.