In order to successfully place dental implants, we need to perform a thorough examination of your jaw. If we find that there isn’t enough bone density around the area with the missing tooth, it might not be possible to move forward with the process. But this doesn’t mean you have to give up on receiving implants; with an advanced procedure such as a bone graft or a sinus lift, we can prepare your jaw for the roots of your new teeth. Call us today if you’re considering dental implants; during your consultation, Dr. Silfa or Dr. Casanas can help you figure out all of the necessary steps of the process.
A bone graft is normally necessary if you’re getting implants to replace teeth that have already been missing for a while. The longer the jaw goes without the stimulation of chewing, the more it will start to break down. We can use bone grafting to encourage the bone to rebuild itself and reverse the damage.
The key to a bone graft is to take a piece of bone and place it in the jaw, allowing for the growth of new tissue. Normally, the bone is taken from a part of your body (such as the hip); this is known as an autograft. You can also receive an allograft (tissue taken from a cadaver) or a xenograft (tissue taken from an animal). In certain situations, synthetic material might be used instead of natural bone.
Over time, the cells in your jaw bond to the grafted tissue. Eventually, enough new bone will be created for implant surgery to be performed. Keep in mind that it may take several months for enough bone density to be created.
Following a bone graft, you can control any pain you experience with ibuprofen and other medications. You should also apply an ice pack to reduce swelling. Only eat soft foods while your mouth heals, and avoid chewing with any of the teeth near the site of the surgery.
Similar to a bone graft, a sinus lift adds bone tissue to the upper jaw in order to regain lost density. However, this procedure can also have another purpose: it moves the sinuses away from the intended implant site. Not every patient will need to have this procedure done; it mainly depends on the anatomy of your mouth.
During a sinus lift, your gums will be opened, and the sinus membrane will be gently pushed up. The selected grafting material will then be packed into the empty space. It will need to be left to heal over the course of about four to nine months before a dental implant can be placed.
To determine whether or not you might need a bone graft or a sinus lift, we’ll need to perform CT scan of your mouth. This will give us a look at the underlying jaw bone and help us determine what kind of preparations might be needed. These in-depth scans will also help us place your implants with greater accuracy, thus minimizing the risk of complications.