Implants / Grafting
A dental implant is actually a replacement for the root or roots of a tooth. Like tooth roots, dental implants are secured in the jawbone and are not visible once surgically placed. They are used to secure crowns (the parts of teeth seen in the mouth), bridgework or dentures by a variety of means. They are made of titanium, which is lightweight, strong and biocompatible, which means that it is not rejected by the body. As a Diplomate of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists Dr. Lepore is uniquely qualified to plan, prepare and place implants to restore function and help insure your oral health.
For an implant to be successful, you must have healthy gums and adequate bone to support it. If your bone is too thin or soft and unable to support an implant, you may require a bone graft. Grafting bone into the extraction sockets at the time of tooth loss or removal can help preserve bone volume needed for implant placement. Surgical techniques are also available to regenerate (re-grow) bone that has been lost, to provide the necessary bone substance for anchoring implants. In fact, a primary reason to consider dental implants to replace missing teeth is the maintenance of jawbone. Bone needs stimulation to stay healthy. Because dental implants fuse to the bone, they stabilize it and prevent further bone loss.
A sinus graft or lift is surgery that adds bone to your upper jaw in the area of your molars and premolars. A sinus lift is done when there is not enough bone height in the upper jaw, or the sinuses are too close to the jaw, for dental implants to be placed. The bone is added between your jaw and the maxillary sinuses, which are on either side of your nose. To make room for the bone, the sinus membrane has to be moved upward, or “lifted.”