Dental Implants are an exciting and effective way to replace missing teeth. One implant can be used to restore a single lost or congenitally missing tooth, or several implants can be used to help with any combination of fixed bridges and removable or fixed dentures. Dental Implants are a great investment, and the results are the closest thing dentistry has to giving you back your natural teeth. In order to provide patients with strong implants, sometimes it is necessary to perform pre-implant surgeries tomaximize bone support. These include socket preservation, bone regeneration, and sinus augmentation.
When a tooth is removed, it leaves behind a hole, or socket. There are times when an implant can be placed directly into this socket. However, when too much bone is lost, the socket needs to be filled in or rebuilt. This includes using bone grafts and membrane to prepare the site for a stable implant.
When a tooth or teeth have been missing for some time, the bone goes through changes that cause it to shrink, ultimately compromising implant placement. Bone regeneration is a technique that uses bone grafting materials and membranes to help bulk up the bony ridge in order to support an implant. For severe cases, where grafting has been attempted and failed, or when little bone remains and the site is found not to be ideal case for traditional grafting, a commercially available growth factor (recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein 2) can be utilized in conjunction with graft material or alone for regrowth of your natural bone.
In the upper jaw, the ability to place implants depends on the amount of bone present. In some patients, the sinuses are such that there is not enough bone to safely place an implant. Sinus augmentation can be done either directly, by opening a window into the sinus, or indirectly through the same site used for the implant.