If you’re considering dental implants to fill in the gaps in your smile, one essential is that you must have enough bone structure in your jaw to support them. The general procedure for implants is that new porcelain teeth are “implanted” onto titanium posts which are screwed into a healthy jawbone. Once secured on the posts, the implants fuse over several months with existing bone material into a permanent bond.
A problem arises when a patient has suffered too much bone loss due to periodontal (gum) disease, tooth loss, or infection. When teeth are missing for too long, the body redirects bone-nourishing nutrients like calcium and phosphorus away from the jaw to other parts of the body. When the titanium screws are installed, the compromised bone prevents what’s referred to as osseointegration, or the bonding of the implant with bone tissue. As a result, the implant doesn’t take. Thankfully, there are techniques that can replace lost bone structure so that you can get the implants and the smile that you want.
If Dr. Nick or Dr. Elliot at Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry determine that you don’t have enough bone under the gum to complete a successful dental implant, you have excellent options to “build” bone so that implants can be placed.
The first bone augmentation procedure is a bone graft. If the section of jawbone where the implants would be placed is too short or too narrow to form a support for the implants due to bone loss, a procedure to graft or add bone to the existing jawbone can be highly effective. The newly added bone can be your own (autogenous), from a cadaver (allogeneic), or cow bone (xenograft). After the grafting procedure is completed, a wait of three to nine months for the grafted bone tissue to bond to the existing bone is normal. During this time, several small screws will hold the grafted bone in places which are then removed once the graft has taken. At that time, your dental implants will be placed and your smile made new again.
A sinus lift, sometimes called sinus augmentation, is a bone graft procedure used when there is insufficient bone structure in the upper jaw to allow for implants or when the sinuses are too close to the jaw for implants to be placed. If there is reason for Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot to suspect that a sinus lift may be indicated for you, they will first take X-rays or a CT scan to accurately measure the height and width of your existing bone and assess the condition of your sinus.
The procedure involves adding granulated bone to the area between the jaw and your maxillary sinuses which are on either side of the nose. The sinus membrane is moved upward or lifted to allow space for the new bone material to bond to the existing bone. Once there is a solid bond which may take four to nine months, your dental implant procedure can take place.
Sinus lifts are now a very common procedure with the increasing number of dental implants taking place. If you’re interested in discussing dental implants, call Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry to see if a dental bone graft or sinus lift is necessary for you.
In the hands of Suffolk County dental bone graft and sinus lift experts like Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliott, the success rate for bone grafts and sinus lifts is very high. On rare occasions, particularly with smokers and patients with diabetes or osteoporosis, the newly grafted bone does not bond well to the existing bone, leaving the area with no blood supply, an essential for a successful implant. In that case, the implant won’t take, and the graft or lift procedure may have to be repeated.
If you have been considering dental implants, our team will perform a thorough evaluation of your jawbone structure to determine if either a bone graft or sinus lift is necessary. If Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot feel that a dental bone graft or sinus lift procedure will allow you to have a new smile again by making implants possible, we can discuss several flexible and affordable payment options with you that will fit your budget.
Call Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry for a free consultation at (631) 744-5700 and let us help give you the confidence that a great smile brings.
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