A sinus lift is a surgery which essentially adds to the existing bone structure in around the area of the upper jaw between your molars and premolars. It is sometimes referred to as a sinus augmentation. The new bone structure is added between the jaw and the maxillary sinuses, which can be on either side of your nose. To make room for this new bone, the sinus membrane will be moved upward, or "lifted".
A sinus lift is done when there is not enough bone height in the upper jaw, or the sinuses are too close to the jaw, for dental implants to be placed. There are many reasons for people to need this type of treatment:
Sinus lifts have become common during the last 15 years as more people get dental implants to replace missing teeth.
The bone used to complete this procedure may come from your own body (autogenous bone), from a cadaver (allogeneic bone) or from cow bone (xenograft).
If your own bone can be used in this procedure, it will can be from other areas such as your mouth or body. In most cases the bone for this procedure will be taken from your hip or your tibia.
We will need X-rays taken before your sinus lift so our dentist can study the anatomy of your jaw and sinus. You also may need a special type of computed tomography (CT) scan. This scan will allow our dentist to accurately measure the height and width of your existing bone and to evaluate the health of your sinus.
If you have seasonal allergies, you should schedule the procedure when they are not active.
Our surgeon will cut the gum tissue where your back teeth used to be. The tissue is raised, exposing the bone. A small, oval window is opened in the bone. The membrane lining the sinus on the other side of the window that separates your sinus from your jaw. This membrane will be gently positioned up and away from your jaw.
Granules of bone-graft material are then packed into the space where the sinus was. The amount of bone that will be needed for the procedure will vary, but usually several millimeters of bone is added above the jaw to complete this procedure successfully.
Once the new bone is in place, the area is closed with stitches. Your implants will be placed between four to nine months later. This allows time for the grafted material to blend with your bone.