What is a sinus lift?
The maxillary sinuses are in your cheeks area and on top of the upper teeth. These sinuses are empty, air-filled spaces. When upper teeth are lost there is often just a thin wall of bone separating the maxillary sinus from the mouth. When the sinus wall is very thin, it is impossible to place dental implants in this bone. Dental implants need bone to hold them in place.
The key to a successful and long-lasting dental implant is the quality and quantity of jaw bone anchoring the implant in place. If bone loss has occurred due to infection or periodontal disease, a sinus augmentation procedure be done to can raise the sinus floor and allow for new bone formation. A sinus lift is one of the most common bone grafting procedures for patients with bone loss in the upper jaw.
Am I a candidate for a sinus lift procedure?
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 most of the maxillary teeth and require support for dental implants to secure a dental bridge or overdenture.
How is a sinus lift accomplished?
A small incision is made in the premolar or molar region to expose the jaw bone. A small window opening is cut into the bone, and the membrane lining the sinus is pushed upward. The underlying space is filled with bone grafting material. After the bone is implanted, the incision is sutured 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 the newly formed sinus bone.
If enough bone between the upper jaw ridge and the bottom of the sinus is available to stabilize the implant, sinus augmentations and implant placement can be performed at the same time. Dr. Lee is trained in the newest bone/ implant placement techniques called the Bone Ring procedure.
Sinus augmentation procedures are generally performed at Dr. Lee‘s outpatient surgical facility in association with the Ambulatory Surgical Center at our Lady of Mersey Hospital in Anderson.