Why Do I Need a Sinus Lift?
|Patients who have lost teeth in the upper premolar or molar areas of the jaw often require a sinus lift, or sinus augmentation in order to have dental implants placed.
As a result of bone loss, the sinuses can expand to occupy the empty space where the bone used to be. With insufficient bone to securely place a dental implant, a sinus lift is necessary to move the sinus away from the roots of the teeth or to create additional bone in the area.
Bone Loss and Osseointegration
Let’s take a look at how bone loss occurs in the human body and what can be done to fix it. Bone acts just like every other part of the body - if it isn’t used it begins to atrophy and will eventually diminish through lack of use. Normally, the bone is your jaw supports the roots of your teeth. As you eat, speak, and go about your day, the jaw receives feedback in the form of tactile bumps and prods. The roots of the teeth interact in a meaningful way with the bone in your jaw, that helps to keep the bone robust and strong. So, when a tooth is lost or extracted, the bone will eventually begin to recede.
After many years of dealing with tooth loss, there is a good chance that bone loss will have occurred. So when a patient wants to replace their missing teeth with dental implants, we have to make sure that they have adequate bone levels to support dental implants and to ensure the safety of important structures like the sinus cavity. So how does a bone graft result in the permanent addition of bone to the jaw? The answer is osseointegration. Osseointegration describes the healing process of bone, where it accepts new bone structures or biocompatible materials like titanium. The bone in your jaw will accept the bone graft or titanium dental implant posts and heal around them with new bone growth.
The Sinus Lift Procedure
The maxillary sinuses are behind your cheeks and above the upper rear teeth. The maxillary sinus is air-filled cavities. Many of the roots of the upper back teeth extend into the maxillary sinuses. When these upper teeth are removed, the amount of bone separating the oral cavity and the sinus may be greatly diminished. As dental implants require anchorage in this bone, sinus lifting may be required to improve the amount of bone for dental implant anchorage.
The procedure entails entering the sinus from where the upper teeth were previously positioned. The sinus membrane is gently elevated, and bone grafting is inserted into the desired area. Over the course of the next 4-6 months, this bone grafting becomes part of patient's bone, and dental implants can be inserted and stabilized in this new bone. There are many instances whereby sinus lifting and dental implant placement may be performed at the same time. Dr. Allard will review these instances in his consultation with you at your visit at the Glendale, AZ office.