Implant success depends upon the quantity and quality of the bone where the implant is to be placed. The upper back jaw has traditionally been associated with insufficient bone quantity and quality due to the close proximity to the sinus. If you’ve lost bone in that area due to reasons such as periodontal disease or tooth loss, you may be left without enough bone to place implants.
Sinus augmentation can help correct this problem by developing bone at the floor of the sinus for the placement of dental implants. Several techniques can be used to raise the sinus and allow for new bone to form.
One technique is known as “osteotome sinus elevation”: an incision is made to expose the bone. Then a small circle is cut into the bone, where the implant will be placed. A small area of the sinus floor is gently “lifted” and bone graft particles are placed in the small space, allowing the placement of the implant.
Another method, known as the “lateral window technique”, used for more advanced cases, allows the placement of a greater amount of bone graft: an incision is made to expose the bone. A small “window”, or “trap door” is created at the side of the jaw bone. The inner lining of the sinus is gently “lifted” only at the lower level of the sinus. Then bone graft material is placed to fill the lifted area. Finally, the incision is closed and healing is allowed to take place. Depending on the specifics of each case, the bone is usually allowed to develop for about several months before implants can be placed. After the implants are placed, an additional healing period is required. In some cases, however, the implants can be placed at the same time the sinus is augmented.
Dr. Grasu can explain your options for graft materials, which can regenerate lost bone and tissue. Sinus augmentation has been shown to greatly increase your chances for successful implants that can last for years to come. Many patients experience minimal discomfort during this procedure.