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Sinus Lift Overview

When considering implants, you need healthy gums and sufficient volume of bone to support your new implant. Thin or soft bone will not be able to support the implant, and you may require a bone graft. Another solution, if there is not enough bone height in the upper jaw or the sinuses are too close to the jaw, is getting a sinus lift surgery.

If your dentist tells you that you need a sinus lift before getting implants, there is no need to worry. Sinus lift surgery is a relatively common procedure that will make it possible for you to have implants even after suffering bone loss.

What Exactly Is It?

A sinus lift is surgery adds bone to your upper jaw in the area above your molars and premolars. It's sometimes called a “maxillary sinus floor augmentation”,  "sinus augmentation" or "sinus graft". 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."


Watch this video to learn about how sinus lift procedure is done.

Why Do I Need a Sinus Lift?

Sinus augmentation is usually required when there is not enough bone in their upper jaw to support a dental implant. Dental implants fuse with the jaw bone in a natural process called osseointegration. Osseointegration will not happen properly if there in not enough of bone present.

Prior to getting implants, you may beed a sinus lift if:

  • your previously had trauma or damage in your jaw bone;

  • you had a cyst or tumor in that area;

  • you suffered periodontitis and bone loss;

  • you have missing tooth/teeth and the bone has receded ( 40-60% of the bone structure is lost in the tooth socket within the first three years);

  • you have a large sinus cavity;

  • you have a thin jaw bone.

We would like to emphasize again, that not everyone who gets molar or premolar teeth implants will need sinus augmentation. Nonetheless, it’s a fairly common procedure.

How Is Sinus Lift Done?

To begin, your dental surgeon will consult you on your needs and assess if you are a candidate for a sinus lift. As part of this, we will do X-rays and a special type of computer tomography (CT) to allow the dentist accurately evaluate condition of your sinus. 

At Archer Dental we use synthetic materials that are safe for use in humans as an alternative to using our own source or bone.

It's important to note that this procedure should not be done while you have active allergies.

The dentist will cut the gum tissue and raise it to exposing the bone. An 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 millimeters of bone is added above the jaw.

Once the bone is in place, the tissue is closed with stitches. 

Your implants will be placed 4 to 9 months later. This allows time for the grafted material to mesh with your bone. The amount of time depends on the amount of bone needed.
After The Surgery

Immediately after your surgery you may experience discomfort and  swelling in the area. Some bleeding from your mouth or nose is expected. You shouldn't blow your nose or sneeze forcefully while you are recovering from the surgery. If any bleeding continues for more than two days, or pain and swelling get worse, you should contact your dentist immediately.

Your dentist will give you medication to protect against infection in the sinuses. Once again, if you tend to have allergies, your surgery will probably be scheduled for a time of year when allergies are less common.

After the surgery, you need to wait a couple months for the bony material to harden and integrate with your jaw. Depending on how fast you heal, implants may be placed in four to nine months.

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