Over a period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth shrinks significantly. This often leaves a condition in which there is poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for placement of dental implants. In these situations, patients are often not good candidates for placement of dental implants.
However, in most instances, the quantity and quality of bone can be improved so that implants and implant supported teeth can be placed. A variety of bone grafting procedures are used to accomplish this.
The bone that is used may be freeze dried donor bone and is obtained from a tissue bank. The 45+ year safety record for this type of donor bone is excellent. your own bone may be taken from the area near the implant site or from another site in your mouth. Special membranes that act to cover and protect the healing bone may be utilized under the gum and protect the bone graft and encourage bone regeneration.
Sinus lift grafts are performed to replace bone in the posterior upper jaw.
The maxillary sinuses are behind your cheeks and on top of the upper teeth. Sinuses are like empty rooms that have nothing in them. Some of the roots of the natural upper teeth extend up into the maxillary sinuses. When these upper teeth are removed, there is often just a thin wall of bone separating the maxillary sinus and the mouth. Dental implants need bone to hold them in place. When the sinus wall is very thin, it is impossible to place dental implants in this bone.
There is a solution called a sinus lift graft. Dr. Taschner enters the sinus by making a small window under the gum. The sinus membrane is then lifted upward and donor bone is inserted into the floor of the sinus. Keep in mind that the floor of the sinus is the roof of the upper jaw. After several months of healing, the bone becomes part of the patient’s jaw and dental implants can be inserted and stabilized in this new sinus bone. At time the implants can be placed at the same time as the sinus graft.
The sinus graft makes it possible for many patients to have dental implants when years ago the only option was wearing loose dentures.