The success of dental implants relies on there being sufficient bone into which to place them. However, bone loss can occur for a number of reasons including long term tooth loss in that location, along with periodontal issues. All of these factors must be evaluated before the procedure can commence.
Whilst a bone graft can restore bone quality and quantity in many cases, sometimes a procedure known as a sinus augmentation may be a more efficient method if the issue is located in the upper back jaw.
What is a Sinus lift/Sinus Grafting?
Because of the location of the sinus, bone loss in that area means that placing a dental implant could cause damage to the sinuses. A sinus lift helps to correct this problem by lifting the sinus floor which in turn allows new bone to form. Specific methods may vary according to each patient but one common method is to expose the bone and cut a small window into it. This is then ‘lifted’ into the sinus cavity and the resulting space then filled with a bone grafting material. Over time, this will integrate with the natural bone, leaving sufficient bone structure into which a dental implant can be placed.
Pros and Cons
The obvious advantage of a sinus lift is that it provides a suitable bone structure into which a dental implant can be placed. Without this a patient would have to consider other less stable options such as a partial denture.
As might be expected with a procedure such as this, there may be immediate side effects such as swelling in the sinus area and also possibly bleeding in the mouth and nose. It can also take approximately 4-6 months between the sinus lift or sinus grafting and the bone being ready for implant placement if the implant has not been placed at the time of sinus grafting.
Complications with modern dental procedures such as a sinus lift are relatively rare but they do happen from time to time. One such risk is a tear to the sinus membrane. There is also the risk of rejection from the bone graft.
As with all dental procedures, and especially advanced ones such as these, we will discuss all the pros and cons with you at your consultation, allowing you to make an informed choice about whether you wish to go ahead with the procedure or not.
If you have a question about this procedure or about dental implants in general, please call 186 Park Road Dental Practice on 020 8340 7660.