Sinus lift surgery is a procedure that increases the height and thickness of your upper jaw bone. This improves the amount of bone available to support a dental implant.
Often, there isn’t enough bone available to support a dental implant in the upper jaw because of tooth loss or periodontal disease. During a sinus lift surgery, new bone material is added between the natural upper jaw and your maxillary sinuses.
What Is a Sinus Lift?
A sinus lift is a surgical procedure that adds bone material to the area of the upper jaw that supports your back teeth (molars and premolars). In this procedure, the membrane of the maxillary sinuses, which sit next to your nose, is moved upward to provide enough space for grafted bone.
Sinus lift surgery is usually performed before dental implants are placed, but it can also be done after an implant has been placed. It’s a great way to strengthen your upper jaw for successful dental implants that last a long time.
Bone deterioration due to tooth loss, periodontal disease, or a medical condition can cause bone to become too thin in the back of your jaw to support dental implants. This bone deterioration can be overcome with a sinus lift to increase the thickness of your jaw’s natural bone.
Sinus lift surgery is typically done under local anesthesia with or without sedation in the office. After the procedure, you’ll need to wait a few months for your new bone to harden and integrate with your existing bone.
How Is a Sinus Lift Done?
Sinus lift surgery is a type of bone grafting procedure that helps patients prepare their jawbone for dental implant placement. This treatment is often used to replace missing teeth, restoring the appearance and function of a person’s smile.
The procedure is typically performed using local anesthesia, but sedation may also be used. The grafting material is placed into the maxillary sinus cavity and then the sinus membrane is raised upward to create space for the new bone.
During the healing process, your own bone can grow into the new bone, fusing it with your existing jawbone and creating a strong base for dental implants. This can take 4-12 months, after which time your dentist will be able to place your dental implants.
A sinus lift can be performed using your own bone (autogenous), bone from a cadaver or cow (allogeneic), or laboratory-generated synthetic bone (xenograft). The graft material is placed into the maxillary sinus, then the sinus membrane is elevated to provide space for the new bone.
What Can I Expect from a Sinus Lift?
A sinus lift is a common procedure performed by oral health professionals to provide patients with sufficient bone height in the upper jaw to place dental implants. It is commonly used in cases of severe alveolar bone loss or maxillary sinus anomalies that prevent implant placement due to insufficient bone.
During the procedure, bone graft material is packed into the space between the lining of the sinus and the jaw bone. Depending on the approach used, this can be done externally without existing bone (known as 1a) or internally with some bone present in the sinus cavity (known as 1b).
The post-op recovery from a sinus lift is generally mild. Swelling, bleeding and discomfort may occur, but these are usually temporary and go away with time. It is important to follow the instructions given by your doctor and avoid activities that increase pressure in the affected area. This includes blowing your nose or bending over, as well as heavy lifting.
What Can I Do to Prevent a Sinus Lift?
Sinus lift surgery can be done to help people who are missing upper teeth and don’t have sufficient bone to support dental implants. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including periodontal disease, congenital disability, cancer, or other conditions.
When you have a sinus lift, you’ll need to take certain steps to ensure the procedure goes smoothly and you have a low risk of complications. These include making sure you follow your doctor’s post-surgery instructions, keeping your mouth clean, and avoiding smoking.
You may also be prescribed antihistamines, steroids, decongestants, and antibiotics to help manage your sinus environment. You’ll need to take these medications at the prescribed times and as directed.
You should also avoid activities that could cause sinus pressure, such as scuba diving or flying in pressurized aircraft. You should also avoid blowing up balloons, playing musical instruments that require a blowing action, and any other activity that increases nasal or oral pressure.