Implant dentistry is an integral part of tooth loss recovery, which is often caused by periodontal disease. Esthetically speaking, it can help the patient feel better about the general appearance of his or her teeth and gums, but the reasons don’t stop there.
Tooth loss and the resulting bone and tissue loss can cause great discomfort, and can negatively impact his or her ability to properly and painlessly chew food. Dental implants can be life-changing for someone suffering from periodontal disease, but if the damage is too extensive, certain preparatory procedures are needed for implant dentistry to be successful.
One way to prepare the jawbone for dental implants is through a process called sinus elevation procedures or sinus lifts. These procedures focus on the maxillary molar and premolar areas, and move the sinus membrane upward in order to make room for dental implants.
Who needs a Sinus Lift?
The proximity of existing teeth roots to the sinus makes extractions and dental implant placement very difficult at times. The upper back jaw area has a history of causing difficulty when performing implant dentistry, as it inherently possesses less bone than the lower jaw. This lack of jawbone can make for an unstable foundation for dental implants, and cause implant failure later on. Taking into account the normally-occurring lack of bone material, even small factors can bring about the need for a sinus lift. Some of these factors include:
- Loss of molars and other back teeth
- Tooth loss due to periodontal disease
- Jawbone resorption after tooth loss
- Sinus enlargement due to age
What to Expect
Before the procedure, your periodontist will need to get an accurate view of your jawbone and sinuses. This may require an x-ray or even a CBCT.
At the site of your lost or recently-removed teeth, your periodontist will make an incision in the gum tissue. This will expose the bone and allow for him to cut a small oval or circle into it. Your periodontist will then focus on the sinus membrane lining your jawbone, lifting it up and away.
From here, the bone material will be used to fill the newly-made space. The tissue is then reattached using stitches.
After the sinus lift is performed, you will need to wait anywhere from 2-6 months before receiving your dental implants. This time is necessary not only for general healing, but mostly to allow the new bone material to mesh and grow with your jawbone. The key to successful implant dentistry is a strong, solid foundation of bone and tissue, and this waiting period allows that foundation to form.
Swelling of the surgical site, as well as bleeding from both the nose and mouth, is common. Your periodontist will walk you through each step of the care process in order to avoid as much discomfort as possible. Prescriptions for pain medication, antimicrobial mouthwash, and an antibiotic will likely be given to you, as infection is a concern after any surgery.
A Necessary Step on the Road to Your New Smile
In addition to experience and precision, high-quality implant dentistry requires patience. At Specialty Dental Care, we are ready to lead you on this transformative journey with a friendly approach and a skilled hand.
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