Sinus augmentation, also called sinus lift, is sometimes needed for dental implant. The maxillary sinuses are located on top of the upper jaw and behind the cheeks. The back of the upper jaw has less bone than the lower jaw so when teeth are lost in that area and dental
The procedure is done to add bone to the upper jaw within the area of premolars and molars. Because bone must be added in the said area, the sinus must be lifted to make way for it, thus, the procedure is called sinus lift or sinus augmentation.
You may be considered a good candidate for sinus augmentation when:
- Teeth are lost in the upper jaw and there is not enough bone to hold or stabilize dental implants in that area.
- There is bone loss due to periodontal disease.
- Tooth loss has already resulted to bone loss. In some cases, especially when it took a long time for tooth replacement to be considered, there will be bone loss in the area where you had the missing tooth.
- The upper jaw and maxillary sinus are too close to each other.
This procedure has been around for at least 15 years and it is a relatively safe solution to facilitate tooth replacement through dental implants.
The bone may be sourced from various sources such as from the patient’s own body (autogenous bone), from cow bone (xenograft) or from a cadaver (allogeneic bone). Your periodontist or oral and maxillofacial surgeon will determine where to get the bone after performing a full assessment. The patient will be asked to take x-rays and CT scan to have complete evaluation of the anatomy of upper jaw and maxillary sinuses, get the measurement of the existing bone and determine the health of the sinuses as well.
If you have seasonal allergies, you will be scheduled for surgery when it is inactive as certain medication may interfere or affect the healing process.
The surgeon will make an incision on your gum in the pre-molar and molar region to expose gum tissue and the bone. A small incision is made in the bone and the membrane lining the sinus is lifted. The bone graft material is then placed in the space created. After the bone placement, the incision is closed with stitches. The patient may need to wait for about four to nine months for the implant to mesh with the bone. Healing times vary from person-to-person. When the implant has already meshed with the bone the dental implant procedure can commence.
Like any other surgical procedures, the patient may feel pain and experience bleeding. Pain medication, antibiotic, anti-microbial mouthwash and saline sprays may be prescribed by the surgeon to minimize the patient’s discomfort and prevent infection. The patient is usually scheduled to see the dentist after seven to ten days for evaluation and checkup.