A sinus lift, also called a sinus augmentation, is when bone is added to the area above your molars and premolars, which is usually where you have air-filled sacs. This procedure will benefit you if you don't have enough upper jaw bone or your sinuses are close to the jaw. A sinus membrane is moved upwards ("lifted") to make room for additional bone to bring it to a normal bone level. This is an issue for patients who have lost back teeth or molars. Dental implants in this area are very dificult to perform and be successful if there is a very low bone level.
Normal Bone Levels Low Bone Levels Sinus Lift with 3 Dental Implants
Your surgeon will begin by making an incision in the gums where your back teeth were located. The gum tissue is lifted in order to expose the bone and a small opening in the bone is made. The membrane lining is then exposed and pushed upwards and away from your jaw. Bone graft material is then placed where your sinus was previously located. Once sufficient amount of bone is placed the gum tissue is placed back and closed with stitches.
Once the procedure has been completed you may experience swelling and/or bleeding. Your surgeon will provide you specific instructions on how to prevent congestion and inflammation as well as provide you with antibiotics and/or antimicrobial mouthwash. After 7-10 days you will be asked to come back into the office to assess the area and remove the stitches if they have not dissolved.
Although you may heal in a matter of days, in order to get an implant you must wait for the bone graft material to harden and adhere to the jaw bone. This may take 4-9 months.
Patients with the following are generally good candidates for a sinus lift procedure:
Like any other surgery, there are risks that come with the procedure. One of the major risks of a sinus lift is a punctured membrane, this can either be repaired during the procedure or your surgeon may choose to give it time to heal and stop the procedure. Infections may be a concern for any type of surgery, but they are rare in sinus lifts. There have been cases where the bone graft will not merge with the jaw bone making an implant unsuccessful, if that is the case, a sinus lift may be attempted a second time.
If you develop any of the following symptoms after your procedure, contact your surgeon immediately:
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