A sinus lift is a procedure commonly recommended for those who have experienced significant bone loss in the upper jaw (maxilla). This bone grafting procedure regenerates bone in the floor of the maxillary sinus just above the bony ridge that holds one’s upper teeth in place. This surgery may be necessary for those who wish to have implants placed in the upper jaw but do not have enough bone to support those implants. Often, implants are placed at the same time the bone graft is performed.
Being told you need a sinus lift before getting dental tooth implants may seem a little daunting, but there is no need to worry. It’s a relatively common restorative surgical procedure that can make it possible for you to have dental implants even after suffering bone loss.
What is a sinus lift?
It’s a surgical procedure which grafts bone to the upper jaw at the position of the molar and premolar teeth. The maxillary sinus membrane is lifted upwards to make space for the additional bone.
The sinus system has several parts but it’s the maxillary sinuses which sit closest to our teeth. You might sometimes get a toothache when you have congestion or a bad cold – this is because the pressure on the sinuses transfers to the tooth roots in the upper jaw.
The technical name for this procedure is a “maxillary sinus floor augmentation”, but you may also hear the terms “sinus augmentation” and “sinus graft” used. A specially-trained dental clinician, periodontist or oral surgeon carries out the surgery.
Why might you need this procedure?
A sinus augmentation is usually performed when a patient has insufficient bone in their upper jaw to support a dental implant. Dental implants fuse with the jaw bone in a natural process called dental osseointegration, but this relies on there being a certain amount of bone present.
You may need sinus lift surgery before getting implants if:
- Your jaw bone has previously been damaged
- A cyst or tumor has been removed from the area
- You have suffered bone loss as a result of periodontitis
- Your bone has receded because of tooth loss
- You naturally have a large sinus cavity or thin jaw bone
Not everyone who gets molar or premolar teeth implants will need this surgery. However, it’s a fairly common procedure.
What does it involve?
To begin with, Dr. Sims will conduct a consultation to discuss your needs. As part of this, they will take dental x-rays, and perhaps CT scans, to assess the current condition of your jaw and ascertain whether you are a suitable candidate for a sinus procedure.
What would you do with more confidence?
Find out today.