A sinus lift, also known as sinus augmentation or sinus graft, is an oral surgery that is necessary for dental implants. Some of the roots of the natural upper teeth extend up close to the maxillary sinuses. A sinus lift will be recommended if a patient doesn’t have the bone support for a dental implant.
The procedure aims to grow bone in the maxillary sinus floor above the gum line’s bony ridge that anchors the teeth in the upper jaw. By strengthening and growing bone in this location, dental implants can be secured in the new bone growth. Dentists specializing in oral maxillofacial surgery, like Dr. Draper & Dr. Gibbins, are experts at handling the sinus lift procedure.
Sinus Lifts With Our Dental Implant Specialists in Forney
The maxillary sinuses are behind your cheeks and on top of the upper teeth. These sinuses are empty, air-filled spaces. Some of the roots of the natural upper teeth extend up into the maxillary sinuses. When these upper teeth are removed, there is often just a thin wall of bone separating the maxillary sinus and the mouth. Dental implants need bone to hold them in place. When the sinus wall is very thin, it is impossible to place dental implants in this bone. When this happens, a sinus lift becomes necessary for the implantation of the tooth-restoration materials. While this procedure might sound overwhelming, you don’t need to worry as Dr. Draper, and Dr. Gibbins are dental implant specialists and have a lot of experience performing this procedure.
The key to successful and long-lasting dental implants is the quality and quantity of jawbone to which the implant will be attached. If bone loss has occurred due to injury or periodontal disease, a sinus augmentation can raise the sinus floor and allow new bone formation. A sinus lift is one of the most common bone grafting procedures for patients with bone loss in the upper jaw.
The procedure seeks to grow bone in the maxillary sinus floor above the gum line’s bony ridge that anchors the teeth in the upper jaw. By strengthening and growing bone in this location, dental implants can secure new bone growth. The sinus graft makes it possible for many patients to have dental implants when years ago, there was no other option besides wearing loose dentures. Our team is passionate and excited about utilizing these techniques and technologies to give you your smile back.
Am I a Candidate for a Sinus Lift Surgery?
A sinus lift may be necessary if you:
- are missing more than one tooth in the back of your jaw;
- are missing a significant amount of bone in the back of your jaw;
- are missing teeth due to a birth defect or condition; or
- are missing most of the maxillary teeth, but require support for dental implants.
How Is This Oral Surgery Accomplished?
In the most common sinus augmentation procedure, a small incision is made on the premolar or molar region to expose the jawbone. A small opening is cut into the bone, and the membrane lining the sinus is pushed upward. The underlying space is filled with bone grafting material, which could sometimes come from synthetic materials that can imitate bone formation. After the bone is implanted, the incision is stitched up and the healing process begins. After several months of healing, the bone becomes part of the patient’s jaw and dental implants can be inserted and stabilized in this new sinus bone.
If enough bone between the upper jaw ridge and the bottom of the sinus is available to stabilize the implant well, sinus augmentations and implant placement can sometimes be performed as a single procedure. If not enough bone is available, the sinus augmentation will have to be performed first, then the graft will have to mature for several months, depending upon the type of graft material used. Once the graft has matured, the implants can be placed by our doctors. The sinus graft makes it possible for many patients to have dental implants when years ago there was no other option besides wearing loose dentures.
A sinus augmentation is generally performed at Trinity Valley Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center, under local anesthesia. However, some patients also may request oral or intravenous sedative medication as well.
What Is the Recovery Process for a Sinus Lift?
After the patient is awakened from the anesthesia, they will need someone to take them home. Some patients may experience slight discomfort after the sinus lift surgery. Patients also might experience swelling. However, they can apply ice on the area to help bring it down and lessen the pain. Occasionally, patients might experience light bleeding from the nose, which isn’t anything to be concerned about.
It is essential to avoid sneezing or blowing your nose. This can move the bone graft material inside and loosen the stitches. Some medications that can help you during this recovery are:
- Pain medicine: to help with swelling and prevent congestion
- Nasal spray: to maintain your nose
- Antimicrobial mouthwash: to help prevent infection
You will have a check-up appointment in our Trinity Oral and Facial Surgery office within 7-10 days after the surgery. During this check-up, Dr. Draper or Dr. Gibbins will examine the area and see if all stitches have dissolved. There may be cases where you are asked for an additional check-up and take x-rays to check on the healing process. Although the process may seem long, it ensures strong bone support and the best results to ensure your dental implants are successful. Once your new bone has formed and is strong enough, the dental implants will be placed, and you will have your new smile!