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A dental implant is essentially an artificial tooth root which is attached to the jaw bone. Eventually, a replacement tooth or bridge will be firmly fixed to this artificial root, restoring complete function to the tooth. The key to a successful and long-lasting implant is the quality and quantity of jawbone to which the implant will be attached. If bone has been lost due to injury, periodontal disease, or long-standing missing teeth; a sinus augmentation can raise the sinus floor necessary for new bone formation prior to, or during, implant placement. This procedure is typically performed with IV sedation and patients rarely complain of significant pos-operative discomfort.
In the most common sinus augmentation technique, a tiny incision is made near the upper premolar or molar region to expose the jawbone. A small opening is made into the bone and the membrane lining the sinus on the other side of the opening is gently pushed upward. The underlying space is filled with bone graft material and the incision is closed. The implants are placed after healing has occurred and will depend on the individual case.