Sinus Lift

What is a sinus lift?

The maxillary sinuses are empty, air-filled spaces situated at the back of your cheeks and above the upper teeth. Several roots of the upper teeth grow into the maxillary sinuses. With the removal of the upper teeth, a thin bone wall separates the maxillary sinus and the mouth. Dental implants require bone to remain firm. With a fragile sinus wall, it becomes impossible to fit dental implants in this bone. 

The most critical factor to a long-lasting and successful dental implant is the quantity and quality of jaw bone for implant attachment. If there is loss of bone caused by injury or periodontal disease, a sinus augmentation can help to lift the sinus floor and enable new bone generation. Doing a sinus lift is common for people who have lost bone in the upper jaw. The procedure allows bone growth in the floor of the maxillary sinus on top of the bony ridge of the gum line that holds the upper jaw teeth. This allows the placement and securement of dental implants in the new bone growth.

Am I a candidate for a sinus lift procedure?

You may require a sinus lift if you are:

  • missing two or more teeth in the back of your jaw
  • missing an essential quantity of bone in the back of your jaw
  • missing teeth caused by a congenital disability
  • missing virtually all the maxillary teeth and need aid for dental implants

How is a sinus lift accomplished?

Usually, the dentist makes a small incision on the premolar or molar region to reveal the jaw bone. A tiny opening is incised into the bone, and the membrane covering the sinus is pushed higher. The underlying region is occupied with bone grafting material, either gotten from the person’s own body or other sources. Sometimes, the use of synthetic materials that mimic bone formation is employed. After implantation of the bone, the incision is closed, and healing takes place. After several weeks to months of healing, the bone feels natural in the person’s jaw, and dental implants can be fitted and maintained in the recently created sinus bone. 

If adequate bone lies within the upper jaw ridge and the lower part of the sinus is available to keep the implant in place adequately, a single procedure is enough for sinus augmentations and implant placement. The sinus augmentation should be done initially, if there is not sufficient bone. Then the graft will have to fully develop for up to many months, based on the type of graft material utilized. With the maturation of the graft, implants can be placed.  

The sinus graft makes it achievable to have a dental implant in cases where wearing loose dentures used to be the only choice. 

The procedure of sinus augmentation is done under local anesthesia at Dr. Jamison and Dr. DeLong‘s office. Patients could also ask for oral or intravenous sedation.