The loss of one or more teeth can have several impacts on your oral health, including the gradual loss of mass and density in your upper or lower jawbone. Without all of your teeth’s roots, your jaw will not receive enough stimulation to invite an adequate supply of nutrients, which can lead to insufficient nutrition and resulting jawbone erosion. When patients seek to replace missing teeth with dental implants, which are the most lifelike prosthetic dentistry option, placing the implant posts often requires fortifying your jawbone through surgery. For the upper jawbone, which is significantly less substantial than your lower jawbone, your oral surgeon can perform a sinus lift, which allows your surgeon to strengthen the upper jaw in preparation for dental implant placement.
Jawbone Grafts and Sinus Lifts
For the lower jawbone, or mandible, grafting involves integrating bone or biocompatible material to increase bone density, making it easier to place one or more dental implant posts. The upper jawbone, or maxilla, is naturally thinner than your lower jawbone, and with your sinuses resting just above it, grafting bone to the maxilla involves special consideration. Before grafting, your oral surgeon will have to raise the floor of your sinuses to make room for the graft—a procedure known as a sinus lift.
If you’ve lost teeth on your upper dental ridge and want to replace them with dental implants, then you may benefit from undergoing a sinus lift first.