Dental implants are a great long-term solution for people who have lost teeth due to injury or advanced periodontal disease. While it would be ideal that all dental implants can be placed as soon as a person decides they want to go with this procedure that isn’t always possible. Sometimes a surgical procedure known as a sinus augmentation is needed.
Not every person who wants dental implants will need to undergo a sinus augmentation procedure. Learning more about what this procedure can help you determine if it would be recommended for you before you get dental implants.
What is the Purpose of a Sinus Augmentation?
A sinus augmentation procedure is done to add an additional layer of bone to the upper jaw. Additional bone is needed to have enough room to place the upper dental implants. Without the additional bone, the dental implants either have a high risk of failing or they cannot be placed at all.
Why Would a Person Need Additional Bone Placed in the Upper Jaw?
There are a number of reasons why the sinus cavities shift and become too close to the jaw. Some of the reasons why the bone in the upper jaw may thin and the sinuses expand include:
- Advanced periodontal disease – advanced periodontal disease can cause bone loss. Once the bone is lost it cannot be replaced naturally and will need to be replaced with an additional material which can be added with the sinus augmentation.
- Loss of teeth in the upper jaw – premolars and molars that have been lost due to injury, periodontal disease, or advanced tooth decay can cause the bone in the upper jaw to thin. The bone thins because there is nothing there to hold it up and over time the sinuses expand.
- Naturally large sinuses – every person’s sinus cavities are unique. Some people have smaller ones while others have larger ones. People with larger sinus cavities often have thinner upper jaw bone. If a person with a larger sinus cavity wants an upper dental implant, he or she will need to have additional bone placed with a sinus augmentation.
How Does an Oral Surgeon Know if a Sinus Augmentation is Needed?
An oral surgeon can determine if a sinus augmentation will be needed by looking at x-rays. The x-rays will show a detailed picture of the anatomy of the jaw and sinuses. If the bone appears too thin or if there are signs that the bone is currently thinning, a sinus augmentation will be recommended before dental implants can be placed.
What Happens if a Sinus Augmentation is Needed?
If a sinus augmentation is needed, you will not be able to get your dental implants right away. Instead, you will have to undergo a separate surgical procedure to have the additional bone placed in the upper jaw.
Dental implants cannot be placed immediately after a sinus augmentation because the bone needs time to heal and strengthen. If the dental implants were placed right away, there is a huge risk that they will fail and the dental implant would fall out.
After the successful completion of a sinus augmentation, you will have to wait approximately six to nine months for your dental implants. This allows the bone to fully heal. To monitor your progress, your oral surgeon will have you schedule regular appointments to make sure the bone is properly healing. Once it is determined that the bone has fully healed, you will be able to schedule your appointment to get dental implants.
Schedule an Appointment to See if a Sinus Augmentation is Necessary
Thinking you want to replace missing teeth with dental implants? Call Vero VIP Implants & Periodontics to schedule an appointment to discuss dental implants. Dr. Brown will assess your individual case, take x-rays, and determine if a sinus augmentation may be needed. Call our office today to schedule an appointment to meet with Dr. Brown to talk about getting dental implants.