If you have lost a tooth in your upper jaw, you may have noticed that the bone has receded in the location of the empty tooth socket. You may not think this is a problem, especially if the surrounding teeth haven’t shifted much. However, if you’re planning on replacing your missing tooth with a dental implant, you might not qualify based on where the bone has receded in your jaw. Thankfully, there is a bone grafting procedure called a sinus lift that can help ensure your candidacy for dental implants!
The Problem with Upper Jawbone Loss
Tooth and bone loss in the upper jaw presents a unique problem. Your sinus cavities are located directly above this bone. When the bone atrophies without teeth, it loses both height and density, and the sinus cavity shrinks along with it. In most cases, the bone is too short for a dental implant to be safely inserted without puncturing the sinus membrane above.
How a Sinus Lift Helps
A sinus lift is a type of bone grafting procedure that can successfully ensure proper support for a dental implant. During this surgery, your periodontist will use specialized tools to gently lift the sinus floor so that bone grafting material can be placed beneath. This bone graft is incredibly safe and will integrate with your natural bone as it heals over the next 4-6 months. Once the graft and your original bone have fully fused, the site will be strong and tall enough to support a dental implant long-term.
Why You Should See a Specialist
In most cases, you’ll want to seek the expertise of a periodontist for your sinus lift procedure. Periodontists are specifically trained in hard tissue treatments like bone grafting. As specialists, they complete procedures like sinus lifts on a routine basis and have treated a variety of simple and complex cases over the years. They’ll also most likely have a variety of sedation options for you to choose from.
Schedule Your Appointment
Interested in knowing if your missing tooth has left you needing a sinus lift? Schedule an appointment with your local periodontist today.