Bone loss in the jaw is a natural occurrence following tooth loss. The teeth provide stimulation for the jaw, which sends a message to the body. In response, your body sends the nutrients essential for jawbone health. When you lose teeth, stimulation lessens. As a result, fewer nutrients are sent. The bone begins to resorb and grow weak. Dental implants are a popular treatment option that helps to stop the bone loss that follows tooth loss, helping to protect the integrity of your jawbone. However, to be successful, implants require that you have sufficient bone mass for stability. Without it, the bone cannot properly fuse to the implants, and the risk of failure increases. Missing teeth in the upper jaw present another unique challenge. When you lose teeth, particularly toward the back of the mouth, the bone separating the jaw from the sinus cavities decreases. Implants placed in these areas can pierce these cavities, causing serious issues. At Oregon Periodontics, P.C., we can perform a sinus graft that can make implants possible while protecting the sinuses.
What Is a Sinus Graft?
There are several sinus cavities contained in your skull. The maxillary sinuses are located behind your cheeks, just above the upper jawbone. The roots of some of the teeth toward the back of your mouth extend up toward the cavities. If you lose one of these or have one of these teeth extracted, the bone mass separating the roots from the cavities decreases. Only a thin layer is left. If implants are placed in these areas, the ends of the implants can pierce through the cavities, which can then lead to chronic sinus infections and other issues.
A sinus graft, also called a sinus lift, is a surgical procedure that is designed to lift the floor of the sinus cavity, creating a greater distance between the jawbone and the cavity. The space under the floor of the cavity is then filled in with bone grafting material, which provides the stability implants need for success.
Bone grafting is a procedure that is done to restore missing bone mass to make dental implants possible. While it can be done on its own, it is also done in conjunction with a sinus lift, which helps to protect the sinus cavities and provide the support implants need.
There are a few different types of bone grafts. During your initial consultation, we will perform a thorough evaluation and go over your options to find the best graft for you.
|Autogenous graft. An autogenous graft uses your bone, usually taken from the hip or the tibia, to fill in space under the cavity.
|Allogenic graft. An allogenic graft uses bone material taken from a cadaver.
|Xenogenic graft. A xenogenic graft uses bone that comes from another species. It is highly processed before use.
|Synthetic grafting materials. There are a variety of synthetic grafting materials such as demineralized bone matrix, bone morphogenic proteins, and bone graft extenders.
The Sinus Graft Process
Before surgery begins, we administer a local anesthetic and provide sedation. Sedation enables you to remain comfortable throughout the procedure and can help to ease anxiety. Your surgery begins with small incisions in the gums, near the molars and premolars. We then create small holes in the bone. The floor of the sinus cavity is pushed upward, and the bone graft material is placed underneath. The gums are sutured closed, and you can go home to heal.
Healing from this surgery can take up to several months, during which time your jawbone fuses to, or around, the graft material, strengthening the jawbone. Once you have fully healed, the dental implant process can begin.
With a sinus graft, the sinus cavities are protected, and dental implants become possible. For more information on sinus grafts, and to schedule your consultation, call Oregon Periodontics, P.C., today at (503) 575-7750.