Advanced Implant Surgery
Bone Augmentation and Sinus Lift
Bone augmentation is a term that describes a variety of procedures used to "build" bone so that dental implants can be placed. These procedures typically involve grafting (adding) bone or bonelike materials to the jaw. The graft can be your own bone or be processed bone (off the shelf) obtained from a cadaver. After grafting, you have to wait several months for the grafted material to fuse with the existing bone. Off the-shelf grafted materials either cause surrounding bone to grow into the graft or cause cells around the graft to change into bone. A graft from your own bone transplants bone cells or a block of bone that fuses to the jaw.
A sinus lift is surgery that adds bone to your upper jaw in the area of your molars and premolars. It's sometimes called a sinus augmentation. The bone is added between your jaw and the maxillary sinuses, which are on either side of your nose. To make room for the bone, the sinus membrane has to be moved upward, or "lifted." A sinus lift usually is done by a specialist.
What It's Used For
A sinus lift is done when there is not enough bone height in the upper jaw, or the sinuses are too close to the jaw, for dental implants to be placed. There are several reasons for this:
Many people who have lost teeth in their upper jaw (particularly the back teeth, or molars) do not have enough bone for implants to be placed. Because of the anatomy of the skull, the back of the upper jaw has less bone than the lower jaw.
Tooth loss may lead to loss of bone as well. Once teeth are gone, bone begins to resorbed (absorbed back into the body). If teeth have been missing for a long time, there is a probability that there’s no enough bone for implant placement.
The maxillary sinus may be too close to the upper jaw for implants to be placed. The shape and the size of this sinus varies from person to person. The sinus also can get larger as you age.