Sometimes a jaw is simply not able to house a dental implant. The bone density may be too low, and then the implant cannot be secured in the jawbone. If a tooth has been missing for too long, it may be the case that the alveolar tissue is so far gone down the path of disintegration that nothing is left of it, in these cases the jaw bone needs to be augmented. This can be done by way of bone augmentation therapies, such as a bone graft or the insertion of artificial bone material.
For teeth residing in the upper jaw, the situation is a little bit more complicated than that. Since the sinus cavity resides exactly above the upper molars and the canines, which teeth are notoriously suspect to becoming ruined, if one of those teeth go missing, or needs to be extracted, then caution needs to be exercised. The sinus cavity will become larger with no tooth in place beneath it, and this is a problem,a s a dental implant can break through the thin wall between the mouth and sinus cavity, and this is of course a problem, as no one wants to have a dental implant protrude into their sinus cavity. Sinus lifts are those special procedures that make sure that this does not happen.
How Does It Work?
The procedure is relatively simple, and is considered just above the routine surgery level in terms of difficulty to perform. First of all, the gums will be opened to expose the jawbone. A membrane will be placed between the sinus membrane and the jawbone, this way sealing the sinus cavity off, and making sure nothing goes in there. After that, the portion of the jaw that has disintegrated will be filled up with bone graft material, usually made from synthetic bone material, but natural options, such as the patients own bone, or bone from an animal, or a human cadaver can also be used, but these solutions are a little bit more complicated. The dental implant is placed in at the same time that the bone graft material is put in, and then the entire area is sewn back up, closing the bone graft material along with the dental implant, and allowing it to harden. The healing time for such a procedure is roughly six months, because that is how long it takes for the jawbone to integrate completely with the bone graft material. After that, the regular procedure for getting a crown applies.