Your head has several sinus cavities. These cavities are air-filled spaces that are around your nose. The insides of these cavities are lined with thin, soft tissue called mucosa. The maxillary sinus cavities are the largest of all of the cavities in your skull. The roots of some of your molars reach up toward these cavities, separated by a layer of bone. Following tooth loss, this bone can thin, leaving the maxillary sinus cavities susceptible to harm when using dental implants. Nicholas W. Feldman, DDS, MBA can help increase the success of dental implants while protecting the sinus cavities with a sinus lift.
Tooth Loss and Your Jawbone
Your teeth play many important roles in your mouth. They enable you to bite and chew your food, they help you speak properly, and they provide you with a beautiful smile. One of the lesser known roles of your teeth is in the health of your jawbone. The teeth provide stimulation for your jawbone, telling your body that essential nutrients are required. When you suffer tooth loss, stimulation is lost. Fewer nutrients are sent to your jaw, which causes your bone to weaken. Dental implants can help to stop this bone loss by restoring stimulation. The success of implants, however, depends on having enough bone mass to support them. Without enough bone mass, implants can fail.
Dental Implants and Your Sinus Cavities
Tooth loss in the upper jaw, particularly the loss of teeth that are near the sinus cavities, causes an additional complication. When you lose bone mass near the sinus cavities, the layer of bone between where the roots once were and the sinus cavities begins to thin. If the bone is too weak, it will not be able to properly support your implants. Additionally, the posts can pierce through the floors of the sinus cavities. This can lead to chronic sinus infections and other serious complications, including implant failure.
What is a Sinus Lift?
A sinus lift is a surgical procedure that both restores missing bone mass in your jaw while also protecting your sinus cavities from accidentally being pierced during implant placement. The procedure requires a bone graft to achieve these goals. The bone is either harvested from your own body or taken from a tissue bank and transplanted to the affected areas.
As you heal, your existing bone fuses with, or around, the graft material, restoring strength and increasing the distance between your jaw and the sinus cavities. To place the graft, we create small incisions in your gums near the premolars and molars and then make incisions in your jawbone. Small tools are used to lift the floors of your sinus cavities, and the grafting material is placed in the empty space underneath.
Bone Grafting for a Sinus Lift
There are a few different types of bone grafts that may be used for a sinus lift:
||Autogenic. An autogenic graft uses bone mass harvested from your own body. The bone is typically taken from the tibia or the hip.
||Allogeneic. An allogeneic graft uses human tissue from a tissue bank, rather than your own. This avoids the need for additional surgery to harvest tissue.
||Xenogeneic. A xenogeneic graft uses bone mass from a non-human source, such as a cow. The bone is processed at very high temperatures to ensure that it is safe for use.
A sinus lift is an effective procedure for increasing the success of your dental implants while helping to protect your sinus cavities. Call Nicholas W. Feldman, DDS, MBA at (907) 802-4519 today for more information and to schedule your consultation today.