Bone Grafting and Sinus Lifts

Also called regenerative surgery, a bone graft is used to recreate bone and soft supporting tissues lost due to gum disease or previous loss of teeth.  The goal of bone grafting is to encourage the body to rebuild the bone and other structures that attach a tooth to the jaw. . Over the next few months, the grafted material will be converted by your body to your own natural bone.  This new bone can then support dental implants which will be used to replace missing teeth.

Socket grafts

This is a type of bone graft that is placed at the time of the tooth extraction to preserve the size and shape of the existing bone.  Without the graft, normal healing processes cause the bone in the area to shrink. Often, that prevents placement of the proper size and length implant to replace the tooth.  This bone shrinkage can also affect the stability of the adjacent teeth.  The graft material is usually a donor graft material that is completely safe and heals quickly 

Sinus lift / sinus augmentation 

This is a type of bone grafting that is often needed when upper molars are missing.  The maxillary sinus is a large air-filled space that can enlarge when upper back teeth are lost.  This limits the amount of bone available to place implants.  A sinus lift procedure involves making a small window into the sinus from the mouth and adds bone in this area.  This results in regrowth of bone and improved sinus anatomy.  In many situations, the implants can be placed at the same time as the sinus lift. 

Ridge augmentation

A common use of bone grafting is for ridge augmentation. Ridge augmentation can recapture the natural contour of your gums and jaw after the loss of a tooth as a result of trauma, congenital anomalies, infection, or periodontal disease. Achieving an ideal amount of gum and bone as a support to surrounding restorations or implants may require hard and soft tissue reconstruction. After the loss of one or more teeth, your gums and jawbone may become indented where the tooth or teeth used to be. This occurs because the jawbone recedes when it no longer is holding a tooth in place. Not only is this indentation unnatural looking, it also causes the replacement tooth to look too long compared to the adjacent teeth, and this can create an area that is difficult to keep clean.

Ridge augmentation uses bone and tissue-grafting procedures to fill in the indented area of the jaw and gums, leaving you with a smooth gum line that coexists with your restoration or dental implant.

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