What is a sinus lift?
A sinus lift does exactly what the name implies—the procedure raises the sinus floor in order to make room for a bone graft. Placing a dental implant without sufficient bone support can lead to implant failure, and there’s also the risk of perforating the sinus membrane. Once the sinus lift and bone grafting procedure is complete, you’ll need to wait about six months for the area to heal before getting the dental implants.
Why might you need this procedure?
Teeth are not only necessary for chewing, smiling, and talking—they also function as anchors in your jaw to keep the bone healthy and strong. When you lose an adult tooth and don’t replace it with an implant, the jawbone underneath will start to deteriorate. However, the upper back jaw is traditionally one of the most difficult spots to place implants due to the close proximity to the sinus area, particularly in people with insufficient bone mass due to tooth loss or periodontal disease. Fortunately, a sinus lift can help mitigate the problem and prep the area for a successful dental implant.
What is involved in a sinus lift procedure?
Before the sinus lift procedure can be performed, the bone material that will be used in the graft must be procured. Patients can use their own bone material, usually taken from the hip or tibia area, or donor material. For the sinus lift, the dentist will first make an incision in the gums to expose the jawbone. Next, a small circular hole will be cut into the bone, through which the sinus will be gently pushed upward. Finally, the dentist will pack in the bone graft material, close the gums, and stitch them shut. Local and general anesthesia are typically used in a sinus lift procedure, which usually lasts around 2 hours or less.