Sinus Lift Procedure
What is a Sinus Lift procedure?
The maxillary sinuses are behind your cheeks and on top of the upper teeth. Sinuses are like empty rooms that have nothing in them. The bottom, or ‘floor’, of the maxillary sinus is indicated by the black arrows on this standard dental x-ray. Some of the roots of the natural upper teeth extend up into the maxillary sinuses. When these upper teeth are removed, there is often just a thin wall of bone separating the maxillary sinus and the mouth. Dental implants need bone to hold them in place. When the sinus wall is very thin, it is impossible to place dental implants in this bone.
There is a solution and it’s called a Sinus Graft or Sinus Lift. There are two techniques for the sinus lift, depending upon the amount of bone that needs to be enhanced. When a smaller enhancement is needed, the lift can be done with special instruments from within the preparation site for the implant. This is minimally invasive, and is called an indirect sinus lift when a larger augmentation is needed; the surgeon enters the sinus from the side through an incision and lifts the sinus lining (the membrane) up from the floor of the sinus. The donor bone or bone substitute, as described above under minor bone grafting, is then placed under the newly-elevated sinus lining allowing an implant to extend into this area.
If enough bone between the upper jaw ridge and the bottom of the sinus is available to stabilize the implant well, sinus augmentations and implant placement can sometimes be performed simultaneously as a single procedure. If not enough bone is available, the sinus augmentation will have to be performed first, then the graft will have to mature for several months, depending upon the type of graft material used. Once the graft has matured, the implants can be placed.
Using our i-CAT™ scanner, our surgeons can visualize the anatomy in three dimensions and in most cases determine whether a sinus lift is required, whether the indirect or direct method is appropriate, and whether the implants can be placed simultaneously.
The sinus graft makes it possible for many patients to have dental implants when years ago there was no option other than wearing loose dentures.
For more info on Bone Grafting & Sinus Lift, please call us today!