What is a Sinus Lift?

Categories: Dental Implants
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Published on: March 26, 2012

A sinus lift, also known as a maxillary sinus floor augmentation procedure, is a surgical procedure that increases the amount of bone tissue in the upper jaw. The maxillary sinuses are located above the upper molars, and the roots of these teeth can extend into the maxillary sinuses. When upper molars are lost or extracted, sometimes only a thin wall of jawbone between the mouth and the maxillary sinuses is left behind.

When is a sinus lift indicated?

Natural teeth stimulate the jawbone through biting and chewing, which helps promote bone retention in the jaw. If you have missing teeth, you will experience bone loss in the jaw due to a lack of stimulation. Not only will this bone loss cause changes in your facial appearance, but it will also make you a poor candidate for dental implants. A sinus lift will increase the height and volume of the maxillary bone so that you will have enough bone to anchor your dental implants.

How is a sinus lift performed?

First, an incision is made in the gum at the site of the missing tooth, and a small opening is made into the upper (maxillary) bone. Next, the lining of the sinus cavity is elevated, creating a space into which the bone grafting material is placed. Once the bone grafting material is in proper position, the gum tissue is closed with stitches. Healing of the gum tissue takes about a week, but it will take a few months for the bone grafting material to fuse with the jawbone.

How soon can dental implants be placed after a sinus lift?

Healing time depends on the age and general health of the patient, but in most cases, the bone grafting material will integrate with the jawbone in six to nine months. Once healing is finished, you may proceed with placing your dental implants.

To talk with Dr. Seal about dental implants or a sinus lift, contact our Dallas prosthodontist office today at (214) 361-0883. With over 25 years’ experience as a North Dallas prosthodontist and cosmetic dentist, Dr. Seal serves residents in the Katy Trail and SMU areas, as well as Highland Park, University Park, and the neighboring communities.