Jawbone strength is one of the most important factors for successful dental implant surgery, but many patients find themselves without enough bone density to support appliances in their upper back jaw. Things like tooth loss, gum disease, and your sinus’s natural position can make it tough to place a dental implant.
The solution? Sinus augmentation, also referred to as a sinus lift.
What is a sinus lift?
A sinus lift is a surgery intended to raise the sinus floor and develop enough bone to successfully place long-term dental implants. In order to make room for that bone between your jaw and sinuses, your sinus membrane first needs to be “lifted” out of the way.
An experienced periodontist can do this in the least invasive manner possible. Sinus lifts have become a normal part of restorative dentistry, and the annual number of procedures continues to increase.
How is a sinus lift performed?
There are a few methods, depending on each patient’s unique circumstances, but the most typical process starts by making an incision to expose the bone. A small oval is then cut from the bone and carefully lifted into the sinus cavity, and the space below is filled in with bone graft material designed to regenerate lost tissue.
The incision is then closed with stitches, and a few months of recovery are required before implants can be placed. Usually, the area has healed enough to support implants within four months to a year.
What is the follow-up like?
Post-surgery swelling and mild bleeding are common, but your doctor will prescribe any necessary medications to keep you comfortable throughout the healing process. Most commonly, you’ll receive a pain reliever to ease discomfort, an antibiotic to prevent infection, and a saline spray to keep your sinuses from drying out.
It’s important to be gentle to your sinuses in the wake of a sinus lift surgery. Avoid any nose blowing or forceful sneezing that could dislodge the bone graft, and be gentle when rubbing or washing your face.
Your doctor will see you again about a week after surgery to remove any leftover stitches and take a close look at the surgery site. From there, you’ll work together to develop a game plan and timeline of when you can expect to place your implants.
If you experience persistent bleeding, swelling, or discomfort lasting more than a few days, contact your surgeon right away.
If you have any questions about sinus lift surgery, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We know any surgical process can be scary, but our team of professionals is here to make your dental needs as worry-free as possible.