A sinus lift is a type of oral and maxillofacial surgery that aims to create an adequate bone height of your upper jaw for dental implants to be placed effectively.
Who Needs a Sinus Lift?
A sinus lift, otherwise known as sinus augmentation, is indicated in cases when the upper jaw is deficient in bone, and when the sinuses are too close to the jaw. This renders dental implants unstable and ineffective.
After a thorough history and clinical examination of your oral cavity, our dentists will decide whether you need a sinus lift surgery for an implant procedure. We can consider a sinus lift when:
- You have missing molars or premolars and have less bone in that area
- When your bone strength and quantity has been compromised because of a gum infection
- When the maxillary sinus is large and close to the upper jaw
How is Sinus Lift Surgery Done?
Before the surgery is performed, our dentists will take X-rays to map out the anatomy and structure of your mouth. Sometimes, you may also need a CT scan for a more detailed evaluation of your sinus.
For sinus lift, a section of bone from another part of your body is usually taken and grafted into the upper jaw. This bone can be taken from other areas of the mouth, from the tibia, or from the hip bone.
The surgery is performed under general anesthesia, so you won’t feel any pain. The surgeon will first make an incision (cut) in the gum around your molars. The gum will be raised on both sides to expose the underlying bone.
A small opening is then created in the bone up to the membrane that lines the maxillary sinus. This membrane is pushed upward (sinus lift), and new bone is grafted into the space created. The wound is closed with stitches and allowed to heal.
Care After Sinus Lift Surgery
You might feel some discomfort and swell around the surgical wound after the procedure. Simple analgesics, a soft diet, and clear fluids can help in the recovery process.
A follow-up appointment is required after a week to remove the stitches and to note the progress.
Dental implants can only be placed after the bone graft in the upper jaw has gained its full strength. This can take 4-6 months after the sinus lift surgery.