During a sinus lift or bone grafting dental procedure, a certain portion of the maxillary sinus will be filled with the grafting material. Thus, the maxillary sinus becomes much denser and then the dental implants can be fitted without problems.
Bone grafting is a surgical treatment, and the first step is to make an incision in the gum tissue where the implant would be placed. Thus, the underlying jawbone is being exposed, and all the defects or holes in the jaw bone that is exposed, are going to be filled with the special grafting material.
For bone grafting, the periodontist or the dentist is going to use the patient’s own bone, bovine bone, synthetic bone (hydroxyapatite) or cadaver bone. In order for the healing process to take place without problems, the dentist will use a special barrier to cover up the grafting material. It will take several weeks or even months until the surgery heals, and until the dentist makes sure the grafting was successful, the placing of dental implants is not possible.
The barriers will also help protecting the gums from growing into the jawbone area, and these barriers are typically made of synthetic materials or even skin taken from the patient. When the grafting surgery is over, the dentist will flip back down the gums and apply surgical stitches to keep everything in place.
Special dental dressings also called “periodontal packs” will be used to protect the treated area. The bone regeneration process can last even for up to 9 months, and during this period there will be new bone and tissue generated in the area. If the grafting surgery is successful, after a few months the dental implants can be successfully fitted.
Dental bone grafting important things to remember
-the dentist will prescribe pain medication which the patient needs to take in order to manage pain and discomfort during the healing process
-it is extremely important to maintain the surgical area hygienized. The patient should brush and floss the rest of the teeth as usual, at least twice a day, to keep bacteria and infections risk at a minimum
-after periodontal surgery, the patient will have to use special mouthwash containing chlorhexidine. This mouthwash has a strong antibacterial effect, and it promotes healing of the tissues
-swelling can occur after surgery and this is normal. The periodontist/dentist will generally suggest that the patient applies a pack with ice on the outside of the cheek in order to reduce swelling
-patients undergoing bone graft surgery must respect a special treatment with antibiotics
-the patient must respect the regular checkups at given intervals after the grafting takes place. Dentists will want to make sure that the area of the grafting heals correctly, and that there are no complications present