A dental implant is essentially an artificial tooth root which is attached to the jaw bone. Eventually, a replacement tooth or bridge will be firmly fixed to this root, restoring complete function to the tooth. The key to a successful and long-lasting implant is the quality and quantity of jawbone to which the implant will be attached. If bone has been lost due to injury or periodontal disease, a sinus augmentation can raise the sinus floor to allow for new bone formation.
In the most common sinus augmentation technique, a tiny incision is made near the upper premolar or molar region to expose the jawbone. A small opening is cut into the bone and the membrane lining the sinus on the other side of the opening is gently pushed upward. The underlying space is filled with bone graft material and the incision is closed. The bone which is used for this procedure is cadaver bone or allograft. Sometimes the periodontist might use synthetic materials which can also stimulate bone formation. Depending on your individual needs, the bone will usually be allowed to develop for about four to six months before implants can be placed. After the implants are placed, an additional healing period is required. In some cases, the implant can be placed at the same time the sinus is augmented.
Sinus augmentation has been shown to greatly increase your chances for successful implants that can last for years to come. Many patients experience minimal discomfort during this procedure. Dr. Blume can explain other techniques and benefits to manage the sinus.