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Your head has several air-filled pockets, which are lined with soft mucosa. These are called sinus cavities. Two of these cavities, the maxillary sinus cavities, sit right behind your cheeks above your upper jaw. The roots of some of your back teeth extend up toward these cavities, separated by a layer of bone. If you lose these teeth, the bone separating the jaw from the sinus cavities becomes thin, which can make treatment with dental implants more difficult. Edward I. Jutkowitz, D.M.D., P.C. - Periodontics and Implantology can help to increase the success of dental implants with a sinus augmentation.
Bone Loss After Tooth Loss
When you suffer tooth loss, many issues occur. Some of the most obvious effects of tooth loss include a decreased quality of your smile as well as difficulties eating and speaking properly. Following tooth loss, the health and strength of your jawbone are also affected. Your teeth provide stimulation for your jawbone when you chew. This stimulation tells your body to send nutrients. After tooth loss, your jawbone loses the stimulation from your missing teeth. Because of this, your body mistakenly believes fewer nutrients are required. Over time, your bone begins to weaken and deteriorate.
Dental Implants and the Maxillary Sinus Cavities
When it comes to replacing missing teeth, dental implants have become the most popular option. This treatment uses small titanium posts that are surgically placed into your jawbone to provide support for your replacement teeth. To be successful, you need to have enough bone mass remaining in your jaw. Without sufficient bone mass, your jawbone cannot properly fuse to the posts, which can result in unstable restorations and implant failure. In your upper jaw, particularly near the back of the mouth, you may be faced with an additional complication.
Bone loss in this area results in a thinning of the bone that separates the jaw from your maxillary sinus cavities. If implants are placed in this region, the posts can piece the sinus cavities, resulting in chronic sinus infections as well as other serious complications, including implant failure.
What Is a Sinus Augmentation?
A sinus augmentation also called a sinus lift, is a surgical procedure that is performed to increase the distance between your jaw and the floors of your maxillary sinus cavities. In doing so, the success of implants is increased, and your sinus cavities are protected.
Sinus augmentation is performed under a local anesthetic as well as sedation. Small incisions are made in your gums near your molars and premolars. Next, incisions are made in your jawbone. Small tools are used to push up the floors of your sinus cavities. Bone graft material is placed in the empty space. Finally, your gums are sutured closed. As you heal, your existing bone fuses to the graft material, restoring strength to your jaw. After healing, your implants can then be placed.
Bone Grafts for a Sinus Augmentation
A sinus augmentation involves the use of a bone graft. This is a surgical procedure that transplants bone mass to the weak areas of your jaw to aid in the restoration of strength. There are a few different types of bone grafts that may be used. These include:
||Autogenic. This type of graft uses bone mass from your own body.
||Allogenic. This is a type of graft that uses bone mass harvested from another human.
||Xenogenic. This is a graft that uses mass harvested from an animal source, typically a cow.
A sinus augmentation helps to restore the space between your upper jaw and your maxillary sinus cavities, which helps to increase the success of dental implant placement. Call Edward I. Jutkowitz, D.M.D., P.C. - Periodontics and Implantology today at (516) 740-1848 to learn more and schedule your consultation.