When are Sinus Lifts and Ridge Augmentations Necessary?

When are Sinus Lifts and Ridge Augmentations Necessary?

If you’re considering dental implants, you may have heard of sinus lift and ridge augmentation procedures. These are common in the dental world, and nothing to be frightened of. These procedures are straightforward and have a high success rate. This article details below when these procedures are necessary, so keep reading to learn more about sinus lifts and ridge augmentations.

Sinus Lifts

A sinus lift is a surgical procedure known to the professional community as maxillary sinus floor augmentation. The goal of a sinus lift is to increase the amount of bone in the back of the upper jaw. The upper jaw is a tricky area to work with because it protects the largest of the paranasal sinuses. These are located under the eyes and above the maxillary bones. Within the cavity is essentially an air pocket, protected by a thin membrane of tissue. This air pocket, along with the others in the face, is responsible for the feeling of stuffiness and sinus headaches during a cold or allergy season.

To achieve a successful sinus lift, a dental professional must first ensure the sterility of the work environment and proper anesthetization of the patient. The sinus cavity is accessed beneath the thin layer of alveolar bone. It is gently pushed up, and the empty cavity remaining is filled with bone-graft material. This may be artificial or sourced from a human body, either your own or a cadaver. Once filled, the soft tissues are stitched, and the healing process begins. Your surgeon may recommend an antiseptic mouthwash to ensure the wound stays clean and free of bacteria. The soft tissues will heal quickly, but the bones need to Osseo integrate to support the implants. Once that process is completed, the crown is affixed to the implant, and the process is complete.

Sinus lifts are necessary when the upper jaw has insufficient bone mass to support a dental implant. This often occurs in patients wearing dentures long-term. Without the tooth roots to stimulate the jaw bone, the process of bone resorption is accelerated. Some patients have but a thin wafer-like layer of bone between their gum tissue and sinus cavity. To receive successful dental implants, the bone volume must be increased.

Ridge Augmentations

A ridge augmentation is a surgical procedure intended to add mass to the alveolar ridges of the jaw bone. The alveolar ridge is the upper level of bone that houses the teeth roots and the dental implant posts. Without the stimulation of the teeth roots, this area is subject to accelerated bone resorption. Patients with significantly small alveolar ridges often have a sunken-in appearance to the face. Dentists can augment the entire ridge, or localize the procedure to single sockets.

This procedure involves opening up the soft tissues to reveal the shrunken bone below. Bones are given increased mass with bone graft material, and then the tissues are sealed. After a period of healing, the implants are placed. Ridge augmentations are common along the lower jaw, but may also take place on the upper jaw.

Ridge augmentations are necessary for patients without adequate bone density to get dental implants. It’s common to need this along the lower jaw, but occasionally a patient may need a ridge augmentation along the upper jaw. This is especially common for socket augmentations.

For more information on sinus lifts and ridge augmentations, contact the office Lorton-Springfield Dental Implant & Oral Surgery. We specialize in these services and give excellent results. Our staff is kind and patient. We look forward to hearing from you!