Having missing teeth for a long period of time can cause the bone to deteriorate. This may result in having insufficient bone for dental implants. However, we now are able to regrow bone to achieve a suitable foundation for implants.
Major Bone Grafting
Bone grafting can repair implant sites with inadequate bone structure. The bone tissue is either obtained from a tissue bank or your own bone taken from the jaw, hip or tibia (below the knee). Sinus bone grafts can also be performed to restore bone in the posterior upper jaw. In addition, special membranes may be placed in the gum line to encourage bone regeneration.
Major bone grafts are generally performed to repair defects in the jaws. Larger defects are repaired using the patient’s own bone. This bone may be harvested from a variety of sites depending on the size of the defect. The skull, hip, and lateral knee are common sites. These procedures are performed in an operating room and require a hospital stay.
Sinus Lift Procedure
The maxillary sinuses are located behind your cheeks and on top of the upper teeth. Sometimes the roots of the natural upper teeth extend up into the maxillary sinuses, and when these teeth are removed there is often only a thin wall of bone separating the sinuses and the mouth. This often means the bone is insufficient for dental implants.
A sinus graft, or sinus lift graft is when the sinus is entered from where the upper teeth used to be and is then lifted upward and donor bone is inserted into the floor of the sinus. If there is enough bone in the upper jaw ridge and the bottom of the sinus can stabilize the implant well, sinus augmentations and implant placement can sometimes be performed in a single procedure. If there is not sufficient bone, the sinus augmentation will have to be performed before the implantation process and will require several months for the graft to mature.