Dental implants are inserted into the jawbone to replace the function of lost tooth roots. The implants are left to heal, and then attached to teeth restorations such as dental crowns or a dental bridge. There are cases, however, when the placement of dental implants is very difficult or almost impossible to manage. This may be because of the compromised jawbone structure, as the bone undergoes deterioration due to tooth loss. In such cases, advanced techniques such as bone grafting and sinus grafting may be done to facilitate the successful placement of dental implants. Both techniques make it possible for those who have suffered from jawbone deterioration to still enjoy the benefits of a dental implant treatment.
The jawbone may become thinner especially with long-term tooth loss, because of the lack of stimulation from the lost tooth roots. A thin or narrow jaw area will not be able to support the placement of dental implants. Bone grafting is done to improve the jawbone structure, by the addition of a bone graft material (from a variety of sources). The material is left to integrate with the surrounding tissue during a healing period, after which the implants can then be placed in the area successfully.
A sinus grafting procedure, on the other hand, is done to improve the structure of the upper jaw – specifically in the area where the molars and premolars are located. Also called a sinus lift, the procedure involves the lifting of the sinus flap to provide access to the maxillary sinus portion of the upper jaw. This area will be augmented using a sinus graft material, which will work in improving the height of the upper jaw. Upon completion of a specified healing period, the upper jaw area will then have the required height and volume to support the placement of dental implants, as an ideal solution for missing teeth problems.