Where There’s a Will, There’s Technology!
Q: As a kid I hated going to the dentist because every time I went it was because of a toothache and the dentist just pulled teeth. Even as a teenager I had many of my permanent teeth pulled and I ended up with a partial denture for appearance's sake.
I had a front tooth missing and about four back teeth missing. It happened to everyone, so we thought it was normal, but now as a mature adult with children grown, I’m looking for more permanent solutions. I’ve learned a bit about permanent bridges and implants but when I went for an exam I was told that while I could have a permanent bridge to replace the missing front tooth that I would need a partial denture for my back teeth because so much bone was lost after my upper teeth were taken. I was told a good, strong partial could be made and it would give me chewing ability.
Now I’ve had a partial and it barely gets through the soft stuff so I’m a bit skeptical. I really want something that works – as in permanent bridge. I’ve heard implants can do that but again, I was told I had only about three millimeters of bone below my sinus that was left after my teeth were extracted so I can’t have implants. This is frustrating and I don’t know what the solution is. It’s my upper left side – no teeth after the eye tooth. There’s got to be an answer.
A: Actually there are several good answers so let me outline one that will allow you to keep the good teeth ,that you have and give you the strong bite and function you want.
Your situation, of only a thin layer of bone between your gums and sinus is not uncommon. New technology allows us to now open a channel in the bone in these areas right to the membrane that lines the sinus.
Once this lining is seen through that channel, a “hydraulic apparatus” allows us to lift the membrane off the floor of the sinus without tearing it.
This lifting allows us to insert bone grafting granules up into the area where the sinus has been lifted. Once placed, the graft is followed by placing an implant so that now the implant is anchored in your own bone and surrounded by the bone just inserted. If several implants are needed, the process is repeated for each implant.
Over the next four to six months this graft will turn into your own sound bone and anchor the implants so they can receive crowns.
You can now have a fixed bridge to replace your missing front tooth and shortly after have crowns on your healed implants. You will experience chewing power like never before!
Based on actual patient cases
Calvin Ross Crapo