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Dental Implants

Dental Implants

Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. The implants themselves are titanium posts that are placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. In addition, implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing

Socket preservation and Bone grafting

Over a period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth is resorbed. This often leaves a condition in which there is poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for placement of dental implants. When teeth are extracted, socket preservation with a bone graft optimizes the maintenance of bone long term. We now also have the ability to grow bone where needed to increase the width and height of the bone. This not only gives us the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width, it also gives us a chance to restore functionality and esthetic appearance.

Sinus Lift Procedure

The maxillary sinuses are on top of the upper teeth. Some of the roots of the natural upper teeth extend up into the maxillary sinuses. When these upper teeth are removed, there is often just a thin wall of bone separating the maxillary sinus and the mouth. Dental implants need bone to hold them in place. When the sinus wall is very thin, it is impossible to place dental implants in this bone.There is a solution called a sinus graft or sinus lift graft. The sinus floor is lifted upward and donor bone is inserted into the floor of the sinus. After several months of healing, the bone becomes part of the patient’s jaw and dental implants can be inserted and stabilized in this new sinus bone. The sinus graft makes it possible for many patients to have dental implants when years ago there was no other option other than wearing loose dentures. Bone grafting and sinus lift procedures can sometimes be performed at the same time as implant placement. However, if not enough bone is available, then the graft will have to mature for a few months before an implant can be placed.