A sinus lift is surgery that adds bone to your upper jaw in the area of your molars and premolars. It’s sometimes called a sinus augmentation. The bne graft materials are the same as listed above, and this 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.”

 

What It’s Used For

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. There are several reasons for this:

  • Many people who have lost teeth in their upper jaw — particularly the back teeth, or molars — do not have enough bone for implants to be placed. Because of the anatomy of the skull, the back of the upper jaw has less bone than the lower jaw.
  • Bone may have been lost because of periodontal (gum) disease.
  • Tooth loss may have led to a loss of bone as well. Once teeth are gone, bone begins to be resorbed (absorbed back into the body). If teeth have been missing for a long time, there often is not enough bone left to place implants.
  • Tooth loss may have led to a loss of bone as well. Once teeth are gone, bone begins to be resorbed (absorbed back into the body). If teeth have been missing for a long time, there often is not enough bone left to place implants.
  • The maxillary sinus may be too close to the upper jaw for implants to be placed. The shape and the size of this sinus varies from person to person. The sinus also can get larger as you age.

Sinus lifts have become common during the last 15 years as more people get dental implants to replace missing teeth.

 

Planning

You will need X-rays taken before your sinus lift so the dentist can study the anatomy of your jaw and sinus. You also may need a special type of computed tomography (CT) scan. This scan will allow the dentist to accurately measure the height and width of your existing bone and to evaluate the health of your sinus.

 

How It’s Done

Your surgeon will cut the gum tissue where your back teeth used to be. The tissue is raised, exposing the bone. A small, oval window is opened in the bone. The membrane lining the sinus on the other side of the window separates your sinus from your jaw. This membrane is gently pushed up and away from your jaw.

Granules of bone-graft material are then packed into the space where the sinus was. The amount of bone used will vary, but usually several millimetres of bone is added above the jaw. Once the bone is in place, the tissue is closed with stitches.

Your implant can usually be placed at the same time as the sinus lift and bone graft is performed, reducing the need for further surgeries. This does however require longer healing time before a definitive crown can be placed on the implant, usually 6-9 months.

 

Follow-Up

After the procedure, you may have some swelling of the area. You may bleed from your mouth or nose. Do not blow your nose or sneeze forcefully. Either one could cause the bone-graft material to move, and loosen the stitches.

Your dentist may give you saline sprays to keep the inner lining of your nose wet and prescribe medicine to prevent congestion and inflammation. You also will be given pain medicine, an antibiotic and an antimicrobial mouthwash to help prevent infection. Most patients have only a little discomfort after a sinus-lift procedure.

You will see the specialist after 7 to 10 days. He or she will evaluate the surgical site and remove stitches if they will not dissolve on their own. You might be asked to return a few more times to make sure the area is healing properly.

After a sinus lift, you need to wait several months for the bony material to harden and integrate with your jaw. Depending on the grafting material used, implants may be placed in 6-9 months.

 

Risks

These additional procedures may be required to allow the implant to be placed in secure bone for long term stability, but with added complexity, does come additional risks.

At Brookside dental we work together with the patient to reduce the risks, but each individual patient is different and this must be discussed with your dentist during the planning phase.

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