Sinuses are cavities inside the structure of our skull. When we lose a tooth, the bone around the root area starts to recede. This can lead to the sinus expanding into the tooth root area. If you choose to have an Implant, there may not be sufficient bone to support it.
Special material can be inserted to encourage bone re-growth and 'lift' the sinus. Over time, the bone will re-grow, providing enough bone to support the Implant.
After a tooth has been removed, the healed jaw bone may be too thin to place a dental implant. On occasions, the bone can be expanded so that an implant may be placed. However, if this is not possible, or if the aesthetics would be compromised (for implants at the front of the mouth) then bone grafting will be required.
Bone can be taken from another part of the mouth e.g. chin or back of the jaw, and fixed onto the site where the dental implant is to be placed. It usually requires a period of healing of 2-4 months before the implant is placed. This is considered the ‘gold standard’ in bone grafting.
Alternatively, guided bone regeneration (GBR) can be used, and involves the placement of a membrane which separates the overlying gum from the bone and over a period of months allows the formation of new bone in the space that is created. Bone particles are often used which act like a scaffold, allowing your own bone cells to grow within them, forming new bone. This technique often takes longer than bone grafting to generate sufficient bone for implant placement.
An important consideration in highly aesthetic areas is the quantity of gum tissue at the proposed implant site. If the amount of gum present is inadequate, a small graft of gum can be taken from the palate in a small and simple procedure to ensure a well functioning implant with a natural aesthetic profile.