Sinus Lift

What is a Sinus Lift?

Maxillary sinusesare empty airspaces alongside of your nose and up above the roots of your back teeth.In some cases,roots of the naturalteeth extend up into the maxillary sinuses. When those upper teeth are removed, there may bea thin wall of bone separating the maxillary sinus and the mouth. Dental implants need solid bone to hold them in place. When the bone of the sinus flooris very thin, bone volume needs to be increased in order toplace dental implants in these areas.

Key to a successful and long-lasting dental implant is the quality and quantity of bone to whichthe implantis attached.A sinus lift/bone graftis one of the most common bone grafting procedures for patients with bone loss in the upper jaw. The procedure allows boneto growon the floor of the maxillary sinus above the bony ridge of the gum line that anchors the teeth in the upper jaw. By strengthening and increasingbone in this location, dental implants can be placed and remain secured.

Am I a Candidate for a Sinus Lift Procedure?

A sinus lift may be necessary if you:

  • are missing one, or more than one, tooth in the back of your upper jaw
  • are missing a significant amount of bone in the back of your upper jaw
  • are missing teeth due to a birth defect or condition
  • are missing most of the maxillary teeth,and require support for dental implants

How is this Oral Surgery Accomplished?

Through a small incision in your gum tissue asmall opening is made into the bone of the sinus, and the membrane lining the sinus is elevated. The underlying space is filled with bone grafting material, either from your own body or from a cadaver. Sometimes, synthetic materials that can stimulatebone formation are used. After the bone is implanted, the incision is stitched up and the healing process begins. After several months of healing, the bone becomes part of the patient’s upper jaw and dental implants can be inserted and stabilized in this new sinus bone.

If enough bone between the upper jaw ridge and the bottom of the sinus is available to stabilize the implant, sinus augmentation and dental implant placement can usuallybe performed as a single procedure. If not enough bone is available, the sinus lift will have to beperformed first, then the bone graft will have to mature for several months depending upon the type of graft material used. Once the graft material has matured, dentalimplants can be placed.