Smile Designs

Bone Grafts

We all hope to keep all our teeth for a lifetime, but it doesn’t always happen that way.

If you are one of many who are missing one or more teeth, the dental implant is the best replacement option around. A dental implant will give you the most natural look and function. It is also virtually undetectable.

But what if your dentist tells you that your jawbone is too thin or soft to support the dental implant? If you risk getting the implant anyway, there is a risk of failure.

If this is your situation, you might be a good candidate for a bone graft or sinus lift procedure. After this surgical procedure, your jawbone should be strong enough for dental implants.

Talk to Dr. Edward Sloyer and Dr. Brian J. Davis at Smile Designs of Long Island. They can evaluate your jawbone to determine whether bone grafting might be an option for you.

What Does a Bone Graft Procedure Entail?

There are two pieces to a dental implant:

  1. A metal cylinder—usually titanium—that is placed into the jawbone to take the place of a tooth root
  2. The restoration, often a crown, that is placed on top of the implant, which looks and functions like a natural tooth

If it is determined that your jawbone won’t support the dental implant, your dentist will either take bone from another part of your body or use a special bone grafting material to strengthen the bone in your jaw.

After the procedure, you will be monitored to determine whether the graft has successfully created a stronger bone. If so, the dental implant will be stable and secure at the site of the graft and we can move forward with the dental implant procedure.

In some cases, if only a minor graft was needed, it might be performed at the same time the dental implant is placed. 

What Does a Sinus Lift Procedure Entail?

A sinus lift (or sinus graft) procedure is used to replace missing bone in the back area of the upper jaw in order to prepare the bone for dental implant placement. If not enough bone exists in the area, it can be replaced with a special type of bone graft procedure called a sinus lift. Often this occurs near the upper missing molar(s). We will evaluate the need for a sinus lift.

There are different techniques for performing a sinus lift depending on how much bone is missing. Research shows the most predictable method to regrow a lot of bone is to access the area through the side of the jaw in a “lateral” approach. Often a large amount of bone needs to be regrown, so this lateral approach is the most common. However, if only a small amount of bone (about 2mm or less) is needed, the area can successfully be accessed from the gum area using a “subcrestal” technique.

In the lateral sinus lift, a small window is made on the side of the jaw, just below the cheek bone. Special tools are used to gently “lift” the bottom of the sinus up to where it should be. Bone is then placed in the area to stimulate new bone growth and maintain the new sinus floor position. After at least 6 months, the healed bone can be evaluated for implant placement.

The subcrestal technique is usually used at the same time as implant placement. The area is prepared similarly to the normal implant procedure, but the bone is “bumped up” before the implant is placed in its final position. This pushes the sinus membrane up and introduces more bone into the implant site. If the area is otherwise healthy, the implant can be placed at the same time.

When considering implant placement to replace your missing teeth, our office will evaluate the health and quantity of your bone as part of the overall treatment plan. If deemed necessary, we are able to perform the sinus lift technique in our office.

Find Out More about How Bone Grafts Prepare Your Jaw for Dental Implants

If you are one of the millions living with missing teeth, give Dr. Sloyer and Dr. Davis of Smile Designs of Long Island a call to learn more about how dental implants can change your life.

From the implant surgery all the way through placement of the crown restorations, Dr. Sloyer and Dr. Davis will handle the entire process so you only have to visit one dental office for treatment.

Come in to talk about how you might make life-changing dental implants a possibility. Give us a call today!


Patient Testimonial:Implant Dentistry Made Easy

I’m so happy I discovered Dr. Davis and Smile Designs.Dr. Davis laid out the procedure, gave me a very thorough and accurate estimate of cost and took an amazing amount ... Read More

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