At Hill Country Oral Surgery, we are experienced in the bone grafting procedures required for the placement of functional and aesthetic dental implants. We have performed many of these procedures successfully for patients who are missing teeth as well as for patients who have had severe traumas which results in loss of permanent teeth. Our training and experience performing these complex procedures have made our practice one of the most sought-after oral surgery practices for bone grafting and sinus lift in Austin, TX.
If you require pre-treatment as a part of your dental implant treatment plan, contact Hill Country Oral Surgery today to learn more.
How Bone Grafting Benefits Health and Implant Treatment
When teeth are missing or removed, the supporting bone shrinks and atrophies over time. This is a slow process, but after months and years of tooth loss, the amount of bone depletion can be significant. If a severely decayed tooth was extracted many years ago, this process can also destroy valuable bone needed to ensure a healthy dental implant. The availability of quality and quantity of hard tissue is vital for proper implant placement. The bone provides two essential functions for the health of the smile: support for teeth and oral function and facial aesthetics. Without enough bone, the implant won’t hold in place, and the results of your procedure won’t last.
If the bone around the implant treatment is insufficient, we may not be able to place a large enough dental implant to predictably support function over time. The bone also ensures the lower face looks full and healthy. When the bone atrophies, the naturally appearing contours of the jaw are lost. With bone grafting, we not only can replace tissue where missing, but we also can promote new bone growth in that location. This allows us to place implants of proper length and diameter and gives us a chance to restore function and aesthetics.
Bone grafts enhance both aesthetic and functional results for dental implants.
Do All Patients with Missing Teeth Require Bone Grafting?
Not everyone with missing teeth will require bone grafts. The longer the tooth has been missing, the more likely that there is insufficient bone is to have a healthy and aesthetically pleasing dental implant placed.
If you recently lost your tooth, you may not need bone grafting. If it has been several months or years, you may need pre-treatment to achieve best results from procedures to restore one or a full arch of teeth. We never recommend a bone graft when it is not required for functional or aesthetic effects.
A consultation appointment, with a complete a physical exam and in office CT scan, enables us to immediately determine whether there is enough bone for implant placement. Come into our Austin, TX offices for a consultation, and we can tell you if a dental bone graft is necessary for successful implant treatment in your unique case.
Our oral surgeons carefully analyze each patient’s unique situation to determine if pre-treatment is necessary. We never recommend bone grafting if it isn’t essential for a long lasting, aesthetically pleasing result. We want your implants to last, and for some patients, bone grafting is the best way to ensure this occurs.
Where Does Grafted Bone Come From?
There are a variety of sources for the graft material that can be used to reconstruct implant sites deficient in tissue. For many people, we can eliminate the need for a second surgical site by using processed sterilized bone, taken from a tissue bank, that is either bovine (cow) or human source. For implant sites that require significant reconstruction, it is sometimes necessary to harvest bone from another area of the patient’s body. This is usually taken from the lower jaw at a position near your lower third molar or the chin area. These grafts can be collected with minimal risk and no cosmetic deformity.
Our trained oral surgeons perform successfully grafting procedure using both donor material and material that is collected from the patient.
Recovery from Bone Grafting in Austin, TX
The healing process depends on how extensive the grafting procedure was and whether we used donor or harvested tissues. We provide each patient with detailed recovery information before their procedure, so they can adequately prepare for the recovery process.
For the first two to three days, we recommend patients stay home and rest. Avoid heavy physical activity for at least five days. We provide pain medication to help patients remain comfortable. Eat shortly after your procedure and avoid disturbing the grafting sites. The first day is the most difficult, but discomfort will decrease afterward. Follow our recovery instructions carefully after dental bone grafts and get in touch if you have any questions, concerns, or unexpected symptoms.
The mouth area heals quickly and patients are often pleasantly surprised by how quickly they heal after bone graft surgery.
Bone Grafts and Sinus Lifts
The maxillary sinuses are air-filled cavities that sit in the cheekbones, above the back teeth. The roots of the back teeth often project up into the sinus in their natural position. When patients have been missing teeth for an extended time, the sinuses will often migrate downward, creating insufficient bone in the treatment area. If this is the case, low-risk augmentation procedures may be performed on the sinus to facilitate implant placement. At Hill Country Oral Surgery, we are well versed in the nuances of sinus augmentation surgery and perform these procedures routinely with excellent results.
Like a bone graft, a sinus lift can help ensure a successful dental implant procedure.
At your consultation appointment, we will complete a physical examination and take a three-dimensional CT scan that shows your existing bone and sinus anatomy. Together we will review this scan and use computer software to virtually place dental implants. With these tools, we will discuss if sinus surgery is needed, and if so, we will also review the risks, benefits, and extent of surgery required.
What Is the Timeline for Implant Placement If I Need Sinus Surgery?
When sinus surgery is indicated, the timing of implant placement can vary. Sometimes, implants can be placed immediately after a sinus lift. In other cases, we may have to wait anywhere between three to six months before we can proceed with the implant surgery. We will be able to review your specific timeline at the consultation appointment.
Although patients want quick results, we are more focused on providing dental implants that last. A few extra months of recovery after sinus lift surgery may be the key to helping your dental implants remain strong and in place for years to come. Be patient and give your body the time it needs to heal. We don’t rush sinus lift or bone graft procedures because it can lead to failed dental implants later. Starting over after a failed implant takes much longer than getting things right the first time.
How Long Is the Recovery Process After a Sinus Lift Procedure?
Recovery after a sinus lift is like that of surgical tooth extraction and will typically require 4-5 days of reduced activity. You will receive a prescription for antibiotics and a unique set of instructions called “sinus precautions.”
Pre-Treatment for Better Dental Implant Results
We firmly believe that preparation is one of the keys to our success with dental implants. Hill Country Oral Surgery is one of the top oral surgery practices in the area and we are well known for creating natural looking, long-lasting results from dental implant procedures. We are able to achieve high success rates because of the careful preparation we perform before placing implants.
Each patient starts the dental implant process with a consultation. We perform imaging and talk about medical and dental history to ensure that implants are a good fit. We also create a detailed pre-treatment plan if necessary.
Careful attention to detail and proper preparation of the treatment areas ensures the best possible results once the implants are placed.
If you’re considering dental implants in Austin, TX, call Hill Country Oral Surgery and explore your options. Our highly trained oral surgeons are experienced in dental implant placement and the preparatory treatments of bone grafting and sinus lift surgery. Call 512-327-7233 to schedule a consultation with us.
Bone Grafting & Sinus Lift Surgery FAQs in Austin, TX
Where will the bone graft come from?
In past years, surgeons would select bone from a donor site in the patient’s body to graft onto the jawbone in what is known as an autologous graft. Nowadays, surgeons prefer to use a xenograft, which is bone graft material sourced elsewhere – often, cow bone. While the thought of having a cow’s bone grafted into your jaw might make you feel a little uncomfortable, you can rest assured that the harvested bone comes from healthy cattle and undergoes an extensive sterilization process. At the end of this process, all that remains to graft is the bone material’s mineral structure.
What’s a sinus lift?
The maxillary sinus cavity’s proximity to the upper jaw can make placing dental implants especially challenging. With only a thin strip of bone separating the sinus cavity from the tooth roots, patients who lose a tooth in this area must generally have a sinus lift before receiving their dental implant. A sinus lift procedure builds up the bone mass to have enough volume to safely support the implant post. During a sinus lift, the surgeon lifts the sinus membrane and places the bone graft directly into the sinus floor.
Who needs a sinus lift?
Over the last two decades, dental implants have become more readily available, making them an increasingly popular and commonly administered dental procedure. As more people receive dental implants to replace missing teeth, sinus lifts are becoming more common.
A sinus augmentation or lift may be necessary if you have missing teeth from the back of your jaw, near your sinuses. Tooth and bone loss in this area could be due to congenital disabilities, cancer, periodontal disease, other medical conditions, or the natural aging process. A dental surgeon can also use a sinus lift if your sinuses are close to your upper jaw and they need more space to place the implant.
What happens before a sinus lift procedure?
A sinus lift is essentially a dental bone graft, in which a surgeon uses a “donor” bone in your upper jaw. The first step is to determine the source of the bone material. The three most common sources of bone used in sinus lift surgeries are:
- Autogenous bone taken from elsewhere in your body
- Allogenic bone taken from a cadaver
- Xenograft, which is bone taken from a cow
- A synthetic bone-like material
Having decided on the source of the donor material, your surgeon will carefully study the anatomy of your jaw and sinus, taking accurate measurements to evaluate your existing bone’s height and width and your sinus itself. Once the doctor has received your consent to use their recommended bone source, they will proceed with the procedure.
What will the recovery from a bone graft be like?
We will send you home from bone graft dental surgery with specific instructions customized to your unique circumstances. In general, we recommend avoiding strenuous activity for at least two to three days after receiving your bone graft.
As you progress through your dental bone graft healing stages, sinus swelling is a typical side effect to expect. You can minimize this by applying ice packs for 20 minutes at a time during the first 48 hours. Your surgeon may prescribe pain medication to keep you comfortable and antibiotics to prevent infections.
How can I learn more about sinus lift surgery in Austin, TX?
The best way to get answers to all your questions about sinus lift and bone grafting cost and recovery time is to reach out to our office today. For your convenience, we offer several ways you can contact us.
Schedule Your Consultation
Schedule a consultation today to determine your best choices. During a consultation, patients meet with their surgeon and the staff to discuss procedure options in more detail. Patients may ask questions about the desired outcome as well as view before and after photos of similar procedures.