The quality and quantity of the bone where dental implant placement is planned is key to the success of the treatment. The posterior back jaw is one of the most challenging areas to place dental implants because of insufficient bone quality and quantity and proximity to the sinus.

Sinus lifts are a treatment approach dentists recommend if you desire dental implants but do not have sufficient jawbone to secure the placement. Sinus lift surgery, also known as sinus augmentation, is performed by different medical specialists like periodontists and oral surgeons.

Dental specialists use different techniques when performing sinus lifts. Please continue reading to learn more about the methods and how they help secure your dental implant.

Why Sinus Lift Procedures Become Necessary?

A sinus lift refers to the lifting up the maxillary sinus to make sufficient space for new bone. The maxillary sinuses are cavities filled with air and located just over the back portion of the maxilla, also referred to as the upper jaw. Lifting up the sinus and grafting bone in between allows dentists to ensure more bone is available for placing a dental implant.

When you don’t have sufficient upper jawbone, the dental implant cannot anchor correctly and function some demanding tasks like chewing. Insufficient jawbone causes failure of the dental implant because it is not appropriately secured. The dental implant is incapable of performing challenging tasks like chewing when an inadequate bone is available to secure it. Some reasons you could be experiencing bone loss in the jaw are genetic defects, cancer, natural variations, and periodontal disease. Tooth loss also results in bone resorption to make your jawbone thinner over time.

Dentists recommend sinus lift surgery if your jawbone is fewer than four to six mm bone height in the posterior portion of your mouth.

Preparing for Sinus Lift Surgery

If you wish to have dental implants to replace missing teeth, it helps to understand you have chosen a multistep process. Bone grafting or sinus lifts are an earlier process before dental implant placement.

The process for placing dental implants starts in the following manner:

  • During your initial consultation with Mercer smiles family dentistry, you and your dentist will discuss your goals for having dental implants.
  • Your dentist examines your teeth, mouth, and gums.
  • Imaging studies like x-rays or computed tomography scan to identify jawbone health and other vital structures of your skull are also performed.
  • You will undergo sinus lift surgery to replace bone in the upper jaw if required to secure the implant.
  • Your dentist places the dental implant holder called an abutment and finally inserts the dental implant.

How much time is required by this procedure depends on your overall oral health. Dental implant placements are expensive. It is incredibly essential not to rush through the process but take all the time needed to ensure implant placement’s success rate is not affected.

What Are the Steps for the Recovery after Sinus Lifts?

Swelling and bleeding are the most common side effects after a sinus lift. The discomfort is usually for a few days allowing you to return to your routine as directed by your dentist.

You may experience a common complication of sinus lift surgery, a perforation of the Schneiderian membrane lining the maxillary sinus cavity. The perforation increases the risks of sinus infections and chronic sinusitis. If the complication occurs during the surgery, your dentist will try to repair the same or stop the surgery.

If your sinus lift surgery proceeds unhindered, your dentist provides recovery instructions like the following:

  • Take any antibiotics if prescribed to prevent infections.
  • Avoid blowing your nose vigorously or sneezing as it may affect the bone graft placement.
  • Avoid brushing your teeth (surprised) for some time to prevent dislodging of blood clots that avoid bleeding.
  • You can take pain relievers to alleviate discomfort but must refrain from smoking that can impact healing time.

Your jawbone requires between 4 to 12 months to heal from the sinus lift before dental implant placements can proceed. However, some dentists place dental implants right away after performing sinus lift surgery.

Sinus lift surgery paves the way for successful dental implant placement. This procedure helps build a durable anchor of bone for a dental implant, increasing the likelihood of implant placement success. Your dentist must carefully evaluate your jawbone health before the procedure and explain sinus lift recommendations and potential bone grafting materials before commencing the operation.