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FAQ:  Implants

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Dental Implants Ask The Dentist Richard Winter Question:
Sinus area prevents implants: I have recently had my #3 tooth extracted and bone graft material was placed in the extraction site to preserve the bone for future implant.

Now a few weeks later my dentist says he canot do an implant because my sinus is too close. Instead I will have a 3 tooth abutmentt with a fake tooth in the middle and two crowns on either side.

I really don't want that because if decay occurs in tooth #2 or #4 they will have to destroy this VERY expensive bridge. Is there a way to do the implant?

Without seeing x-rays or doing an exam I can only discuss your situation hypothetically.

Usually sinus grafting can be done to allow for implant placement. This may take the form of a socket sinus graft - done through the socket where the tooth was removed and grafted or it may require a full sinus lift or sub-antral augmentation.

If you had a tooth recently removed then there was bone around the roots so there should be adequate bone for an implant. If, however, you had severe bone loss that led to tooth loss then perhaps sinus grafting would be more difficult.

If this were the case you wouldn't have enough bone for the bridge as it would have effected the two adjacent teeth! So the answer to your question is to get a second or third opinion from someone familiar with implants and sinus grafting.

Bridges are difficult to clean, they require irreversible grinding on the adjacent teeth, they make the natural teeth more susceptible to decay and periodontal disease and they do not have a prognosis as favorable as a single tooth implant according to the literature I have read.

This doesn't mean bridges are bad and implants are good. It just means that in my practice, implants are discussed in light of these facts I have given so my patients can make an informed decision. I wish you the best of luck.

Wisconsin Reconstructive Implant Dentistry
Wisconsin Prosthodontics
Richard Winter, DDS MAGD
Winter Dental Associates
Hampton Dental Associates
5323 W. Hampton Avenue
Milwaukee Wisconsin WI 53218
(414) 464-9021

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