As a maxillofacial surgeon I have performed countless dental implants over the past 25 years.
Quite often a patient has insufficient bone to place an implant or the maxillary sinus is too close to the upper jaw for implants to be placed. When this is the case various procedures can be performed to increase the bone volume and allow for dental implants. One common technique is called a sinus lift. Essentially, the procedure involves increasing the height of bone in the back part of the upper jaw.
How is it done?
In the upper jaw, the floor of the sinus is surgically elevated using surgical instruments and a bone graft. The bone graft can be from your own body (autograft) or from a donor. Donor bone can be human (allograft) or non-human (xenograft). Donor bone has been used extensively for many years in Oral & Maxillofacial and Orthopedic surgery. The bone graft typically takes 5-6 months to heal. Once the “new” bone has healed, implants can then be placed.
Minor sinus lifts can be done at the same time that the implant is placed, considerably shortening the over-all treatment time. This is determined during your consultation.
How to prevent bone loss?
The main cause of bone loss is periodontal disease or tooth loss. People can prevent the need for a sinus lift with good oral care and socket preservation techniques at the time of a tooth extraction. This involves using donor bone to pack the socket immediately after the tooth is extracted, a very common and highly successful procedure. This step will prevent the bone loss and make it less likely a sinus lift will be required for dental implants.
For more information on sinus lifts or dental implants, please contact the SUMMIT CENTRE at 902 892 7600 or book an appointment online.