What is a Sinus Lift?
The maxillary sinuses, which are hollow, air-packed spaces, are located below the eyes, on the cheekbone. The roots of some of the molars and premolars extend up to this region. If the teeth in the upper jaw are extracted, there is normally a slim partition of bone dividing the maxillary sinus and the mouth. Dental implants require sufficient bone to secure them properly into position. If the sinus wall is not thick enough, it becomes difficult to insert the implant.
For the implant supported restorations to function without problems, they need to be placed on strong bone. If the bone deterioration has taken place in the upper jaw because of an accident or periodontal infection, then a sinus lift (also called sinus augmentation) can be performed to move the sinus floor upward and create room for the growth of the new bone. After the new bone has grown, dental implants can then be placed without any problems.
Who is suited for sinus lifting?
You may be a candidate for sinus augmentation if you are having any of the following conditions.
- You have lost more than one of your molars or premolars
- You do not have enough quantity of bone in the posterior of your jaw
- You do not have some of your teeth because of a birth defect or medical condition
- You have lost a good number of your maxillary teeth and need support for implant restorations
How it is Done
In most cases we start by making a small cut in the area of the upper posterior teeth to open up the jawbone. We create a small oval opening into the bone and then gently lift up the sinus membrane away from the jawbone. The remaining space will then be packed with bone grafting material, either removed from another part of your body or taken from other sources. At times, synthetic substances that are able to mesh effectively with your natural bone are used. When the bone has been implanted, the opening is closed with stitches and the grafted material is allowed to fuse with your natural bone for several months. Once the healing process is over, the dental implant can now be placed in the freshly created sinus bone.
When an adequate amount of bone is placed between your upper jaw ridge and the bottom of your sinus, now it is in a position to support dental implants. The amount of time required for healing will depend on the type of substance used for grafting. When the graft has completely fused with the bone, the dental implants can then be inserted in the bone.
Sinus lifting enables most patients to enjoy the benefits of implant supported teeth restorations instead of using the ineffective loose dentures.
At Westside OMS, we carry out the sinus lift procedure at our office in Hillsboro, Oregon, under local anesthesia. Depending on the needs of the patient, we may also use oral or intravenous sedative drugs.