Regardless of the cause, when you lose a tooth, you may experience bone loss in your jawbone. The teeth stimulate the jawbone, so if you have lost one or more teeth, your jawbone will start to deteriorate. As time goes by, you may experience enough bone loss that dental implants won’t hold. If this is the case, we may recommend bone grafting.
Bone grafting is a procedure where we replace the missing bone in your jaw. There are three types: autogenous, allograft, and xenograft.
Autogenous grafts use bone from another part of your body, moving it to your mouth. Usually bone is removed from non-essential bones like your chin. By using your own bone, you are reducing the chance that your jawbone will reject it. It even prevents infection. Also, it is made up of active cellular material since it is still living.
Allografts use human bone but not your own. Instead, we use bone from cadavers who have donated their bones to bone banks. This is considered safe because the bone goes through rigorous testing before use.
Xenografts use bone from another source. The most commonly used source is cow bones.
The benefit of using either allografts or xenografts is that our patients will not have to have a second surgery to harvest their bone. Also, both sources are easily found so we will have plenty of bone for whatever you need.
Before we start, we use local anesthesia to numb the area where your bone will be removed and also in your mouth where the replacement bone is needed. We need to make an incision in your gums so we can see exactly how much bone is needed before we harvest your own bone or get bone from another source.
If we are harvesting bone from your chin, we will make another incision in the gums below your lower front teeth. This exposes the chin and we can remove the bone that we need, along with the marrow. We close this with stitches. After we remove the bone, we will place it where it is needed and screw it into the jawbone with titanium screws.
To help with the healing process, we may use bone marrow and bone-grafting material. We then stitch the incision closed.
After you have received a bone graft, you will need to go home with antibiotics and pain medication. You may need to eat soft food like pasta and JELL-O® while your mouth heals. It can take between six to nine months to completely heal. At that time, we will be able to place your dental implants in.
Sinus lift surgery adds bone to your upper jaw where your molars and premolars are located. This is also called the sinus augmentation area. This bone is added between your jaw and the maxillary sinuses. The bone that we use during the surgery will either be one of your own bones or one from a cow.
In order to make room for the bone, the sinus membrane must be lifted first, which is why it is called a sinus lift surgery.
There are many reasons to have this surgery done. People who struggle with gum disease may need it. Others have the surgery done because they need an implant and do not have enough room for the implant to be placed. People who suffered from tooth loss that led to bone loss may need to have a sinus lift. There are other reasons, but these are the most common.
Our trusted and qualified staff loves helping you get the results you want. To do this, we will perform X-rays prior to surgery so that we know exactly what is needed. We will be happy to discuss the surgery, recovery, and any other concerns you may have.
We know how scary surgery can be, so be sure to ask us any questions you have. We want you to be comfortable prior to the procedure.
If you want to learn more about sinus lift surgery, contact us today at (781) 236-3586.