Your jawbone is stimulated by your tooth roots; like exercise stimulates your muscles. When you have missing teeth, your jawbone is no longer stimulated by the tooth roots, causing it to shrink over time. When this occurs it often leaves a condition in which there is poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for dental implants. This can be fixed with bone grafting; the ability to grow bone where needed. Bone grafting can repair areas with inadequate bone structure due to previous extractions, gum disease or injuries. 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 aesthetic appearance.
Bone grafting is also used to repair supporting bone around your teeth that has been damaged by periodontal disease.
Sinus bone grafts are also performed to replace bone in the posterior upper jaw. The maxillary sinuses are behind your cheeks and 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 area. The solution to this problem is called a sinus graft or sinus lift graft.
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.