Why Do I Need a Bone Graft or Sinus Lift before Dental Implants?

Dr Aran Moorthy

Dr Aran Moorthy

This article was written by Australian dental surgeon Dr Aran Moorthy, BDS. Dr Moorthy has a Bachelor of Dental Surgery from the University of Adelaide. You can read more about Dr Moorthy here >

Dental implant with abutment and crown

Don’t be put off if you’ve been told you need a bone graft before implant placement…

Some people requiring dental implants don’t have enough bone volume to support an implant. This often happens if you’ve been without your natural teeth for some time, as typically, bone starts to resorb without the stimulation your natural teeth provide. Dental infections and cavities, injury, previous extractions or oral surgery can also be the cause of inadequate bone tissue.

Fortunately, inadequate bone volume can be remedied by a bone graft procedure, and it is not always as complicated as it may sound. There are various ways of performing bone graft procedures, and a range of materials may be used, including synthetic material (such as 4-Bone, Puross, BondBone, Bio-Oss Collagen Bio-Oss or MinerOss), your own bone material, donor material or a combination of these.

Sometimes, a patient may have enough bone present to insert the implant, but not quite enough to cover up the sides of the tooth implant. If this is the case, your dental professional may perform a small grafting procedure at the time of implant placement.

If you lack a substantial amount of bone, your bone graft may have to be performed months before your dental implant placement. Your dental specialist will tell you which method will be best for you. To determine this, you will usually undergo a 3-D image of your jaw bone performed through a cone beam x-ray.

Sinus lift

If you require dental implants in the upper jaw, yet lack enough bone tissue, your dentist may recommend a sinus lift, because if they place a tooth implant when there is not enough bone volume in the upper jaw, there’s an increased risk of implant failure and also a risk of perforating the sinus membrane.

Similar to a bone graft, a sinus lift is a surgical procedure to increase the amount of bone in the upper jaw before implant placement. During the procedure, the sinus has to be lifted to make space for a bone graft. Usually, a patient will have to wait several months for the graft to settle before implant placement. At Oxford Street Dental, we don’t perform sinus lifts. However, if a sinus lift is required, we will refer you to an appropriate specialist.

If you’re considering implants, it’s important to remember that not everyone will need a bone graft or sinus lift before proceeding. To find out more about dental implants, contact our clinic today.

All surgical procedures carry risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

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