Bone Grafting and Sinus Lifts in Charleston, SC
Have you been told that you aren't a candidate for dental implants because you don't have sufficient bone to hold the implant in place?
Bone grafting may present a solution.
One of the side effects of missing teeth is a deterioration in the bone structure. Since the bone no longer has to do the job of holding a tooth in place, the body no longer sends nutrients to the area, causing the bone to resorb or diminish. As time progresses, the bone in the area weakens and shrinks.
Bone grafting is achieved by taking your own bone (autograft), another human's bone (allograft), animal's bone (xenograft), or synthetic bone (alloplast) and placing it into the defect. These grafts come in block form or particulate form. Each is used differently depending on the type of defect present.
Many times we use an allograft. The advantage of an allograft is that it prevents a patient from having a second surgery site (the donor area). A bone graft forms scaffolding for one's own bone to grow into. On average, this takes three months for the lower jaw and five to six months for the upper jaw and results in the patient's own bone filling in the defect.
A bone graft is highly recommended following the extraction of a tooth to prevent defects from forming. This maintains the height and width of the bone to allow the placement of an implant or create an ideal site for a pontic, the replacement tooth used in a bridge. This treatment is sometimes called ridge preservation.
Following the extraction, the bone graft is placed, and a protective membrane is sutured into place.
A sinus lift procedure may be recommended when the sinuses in the upper jaw drop down into an area, creating a situation where the bone may not be abundant enough to support an implant. Some sinus lifts can be done at the time of implant placement (internal) or prior to placing an implant (external). This procedure involves lifting the sinus membrane while keeping it intact and depositing bone underneath the membrane. By doing this, the bone height is increased, allowing for an implant to be placed and not invade the sinus.
We've used x-rays to illustrate the sinus lift procedure below so you can gain a clearer idea of how the procedure works.
1. Following extraction, the bone height is not adequate, so an internal sinus lift is performed.
2. The dome of bone around the tip of the implant protects the implant from the sinus, and the implant is placed and allowed to heal.
3. Following healing, the abutment and crown are placed and the bite is adjusted and finished.
Are You a Candidate?
Could a bone graft or sinus lift allow you to replace lost teeth with a dental implant? Contact our Charleston dental office today to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled dentists!