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Ridge and Sinus Augmentations

Dental treatment can be an exciting prospect; it can help treat chronic dental conditions and revitalize a new sense of self. Sometimes though some circumstances may prevent your expected dental surgery, your gums may have developed a hollow spot in the gum line or have sinus problems that affect your ability to receive implants. Augmentations focus on filling out these depressions in the gums, jawbones, and sinuses, and can create a stable support structure for your dental surgery.

Ridge Augmentations

Patients that have received a tooth extraction can experience sunken spots along the gum line. Underneath the gum line is the alveolar ridge, which forms the base that supports your teeth’ roots. This ridge works to reabsorb the underlying bone material back into the body, causing shrinkage and deterioration. This weakness in the ridge can create problems for your natural teeth, and any prospective implants you may receive. Ridge augmentation reverses this process and can restore your teeth and gums’ natural contours to provide healthy support.

Ridge augmentation works to fill the empty socket with bone graft material. It is usually done after the tooth is extracted to prevent the bone structure from absorbing natural, healthy bone. However, this procedure can be done as a preparation for implant surgery and help stabilize the unhealthy jawbone structure. Next, your gum tissue will be placed over the socket and then secured with sutures (or removable stitches). The ridge will then absorb the bone graft material into the jawbone to create a healthy jawbone and heal over the next 6 to 12 months.

Sinus Augmentations

Sinus augmentations treat a different aspect of the face that also affect the jawbone structure: the sinuses. Also called sinus lifts, sinus augmentations focus on raising the sinus floor to allow for new bone formation and help restore bone loss from diseases such as periodontal disease and chronic sinusitis. Your sinuses and teeth can easily affect one another due to the proximity of these areas, and the cause and effect relationship teeth and sinuses can have on each other. For instance, periodontal disease has a distinct effect on the jawbone, as the gum’s infection can spread to it and affect the tissues supporting your teeth. As the jawbone deteriorates, the sinuses will attempt to compensate for that loss by filling in the sunken space, leading to sinusitis for many people.

Sinus augmentations can help reverse the effects of periodontal disease and help treat sinusitis by creating space, pushing the sinuses upward away from the jawbone, relieving pressure, and allowing patients to receive further dental work. This procedure works by raising the tissues, cutting into the bone, and filling the area with bone graft material to lift the sinus cavities. The healing process will take in between 4 to 12 months to heal, and when all healed, will create a healthy space for any necessary restorative dental treatments.

Your initial consultation with Dr. Jean Li, an experienced periodontist at Perio & Implant at Washington Metro, will cover how Dr. Li can care for your oral health and how these treatments can help provide you with the necessary health for successful implants. Please contact Perio & Implant at Washington Metro today to schedule an appointment for any questions regarding ridge and sinus augmentations.

Frequently Asked Questions

You may be a candidate for a sinus or ridge augmentation if you have been denied dental implants in the past due to inadequate supporting tissues. You may also qualify if your receded gum line is a source of insecurity or embarrassment. To find out more about sinus and ridge augmentations and whether you qualify, contact your dentist for a consultation today.
Ridge augmentations begin with the administration of a local anesthetic used to numb treatment areas and prevent pain. Graft material will then be placed into the tooth socket where the missing tooth once was. Your dentist will then pull surrounding gum tissue over the graft material and suture it shut. Sinus lift augmentations are similar, except your dentist will instead make an incision to expose the sinus floor and use hard graft materials to build up the sinus floor. The site will be sutured shut and allowed time to heal before additional treatments, such as a dental implant, are completed.
It is normal to experience some swelling and discomfort following your procedure though these symptoms should subside within a few days.

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