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Ridge augmentations and sinus lifts are both types of bone grafts and it is extremely common to need bone graft surgery prior to having dental implants. These are both procedures that are routinely carried out here at D&D Periodontal Associates and there certainly nothing to be concerned about if we recommend this treatment as part of your dental implants procedure. Both are extremely safe and while they might increase the time needed to complete your dental implant treatment, we will only suggest a bone graft treatment if it’s necessary. So what are these procedures and when should each be used?

Bone Graft Treatment for Dental Implants

Your natural teeth are supported by a bony ridge of special bone called alveolar bone that is actually quite delicate. Tooth extraction or disease can damage the bone, resulting in it losing height or width. This bone loss can be enough to prevent dental implants from safely being placed. Dental implants have posts that closely replicate natural tooth roots. This helps increase the surface area of the dental implant, increasing the number of bone cells that will eventually build up around the implant, holding it firmly in place. If the bone is lacking in height and width it can affect their placement, increasing the risk of instability or implant failure. A lack of bone can also affect the overall look of your dental implant teeth and gums. By restoring the height and width of bone to its correct contours, we can ensure the final effect is aesthetically pleasing.

Why Have a Sinus Lift?

Sinus lifts are carried out when dental implants are to be placed in the upper jaw, replacing the back teeth. This is the area closest to your sinus cavities and it’s also an area where the jawbone tends to be naturally thinner. If the bone is too thin then it will be unable to safely support the dental implants and a sinus lift treatment can help restore the bone to the correct height and width. Another problem is that sinus cavities can increase in size with age. A sinus lift is a straightforward procedure that lifts up the membrane in between the sinus cavities and your jawbone, creating a gap in between the jawbone and the membrane that can be filled with bone graft treatment materials.

Can Dental Implants Be Placed at the Same Time As Bone Grafts?

Sometimes it is possible to place dental implants at the same time as bone graft treatment. This only tends to be the case if a minimal amount of bone is required. Our highly trained periodontists do assess every dental implant case extremely carefully, firstly to decide if a bone graft is necessary and if so whether dental implants can be placed straightaway. We will only suggest placing the dental implants at the same time as the bone graft treatment if we feel this is the best possible solution. Although waiting until the bone graft has integrated with your natural bone may extend the overall treatment by several months, we’d much prefer to do this to ensure you’ll be enjoying your dental implants for many years to come.