The maxillary sinuses are behind your cheeks and above the upper teeth. They are empty, air-filled spaces attached to your nasal airway. Often, the roots of the upper teeth extend into the sinus and when the teeth are removed, there is just a thin wall of bone left to separate the sinus from the mouth. When the sinus wall is too thin, it’s impossible to place dental implants into the bone as the quality and quantity of the bone is inadequate.
A sinus lift is a common bone grafting procedure for patients with tooth loss and bone loss in the posterior upper jaw. The procedure stimulates bone growth in the floor of the maxillary sinus above the bony ridge of the upper jaw to provide enough bone height to place dental implants.
Benefits of a Sinus Lift
Grows and Strengthens Bone
The procedure will enhance the quality and quantity of bone in the posterior upper jaw in the area of the molars and premolars.
Allows for Dental Implant Placement
A sinus lift can build up the upper jaw bone and strengthen the bone so that dental implants can be placed and secured.
The procedure is performed in our office under sedation. A small incision is made in the premolar or molar region to expose the jawbone and then a small window is made into the sinus itself. The thin membrane lining of the sinus is then gently elevated and the underlying space is filled with bone grafting material. The incision is then closed with dissolvable stitches and the healing process begins. After several months, the grafted bone becomes part of your own jaw and dental implants can then be placed and stabilized.
If enough bone between the upper ridge and bottom of the sinus is available to initially stabilize the implant, sinus augmentation and implant placement can often be done as a single procedure. If this isn’t the case, the sinus augmentation is done first and then the graft will need to mature for several months prior to implant placement. Once the grafted bone has matured, the implants are placed.