Patients who have lost teeth in the upper premolar or molar areas of the jaw often require a sinus lift, or sinus augmentation, in order to have dental implants placed. This can be due to circumstances in which the bone in the area where teeth are missing naturally beings to shrink or resorb over time, the roots of the teeth were originally positioned either very close to or within the sinus cavity, or the vertical height of the bone is not sufficient enough to support an implant. As a result of bone loss, the sinuses can expand to occupy the empty space where the bone used to be. With insufficient bone to securely place a dental implant, a sinus lift is necessary to move the sinus away from the roots of the teeth or to create additional bone in the area.
Ridge augmentation is a common procedure performed to help recreate the natural contour of the gums. Often, after a tooth is removed, the bone in the jaw will begin to deteriorate and recede. The height and width of the socket, which was supported by the tooth, will begin to shrink after the tooth is removed. Many patients will eventually develop an indentation in the gums where the tooth used to be as a result of tooth and bone loss.
Restoring the natural contour of the gums is not usually medically necessary. It is often recommended when a large depression or cleft exists in the gum tissues, which can trap food and bacteria. Ridge augmentation is frequently performed for aesthetic reasons, as the ridge is a very important structure in the mouth.
Another purpose of ridge augmentation is to increase the amount of gum tissue in areas of deficit for tooth replacement, so that the teeth appear to rise from the gum tissues. This procedure may be necessary in order to place a dental implant. If the bone tissue has deteriorated too much, placing a dental implant may not be possible without an additional procedure.
Our periodontists serve patients in Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill, NC. We are looking forward to welcoming you to our office and encourage you to schedule your appointment today!