A sinus lift sometimes referred to as a sinus augmentation, is a surgical procedure to build up the bone along the top of the upper jaw where it meets your maxillary sinus passages. The process is often performed to ensure enough bone in the upper jaw to support dental implants securely.
The maxillary sinuses are above your upper teeth and behind the cheeks. These air passages aid in breathing. In some people, the roots of some of their upper teeth grow long enough to extend into the sinus passages. If these teeth are lost, the portion of the jawbone left behind may be only a thin wall of bone that cannot support dental implants. A sinus lift is performed to remedy the lack of bone.
A sinus lift or sinus augmentation adds bone to the upper jaw, raising the floor of the sinus maxillary sinus passage with bone grafts. This reinforces the jawbone and makes it strong enough to securely hold dental implants in place and promote osseointegration. If the sinus lift is successful, new bone will grow on the bottom of your sinuses.
Will a Sinus Lift Work for Me?
Dental implants require enough healthy jawbone to securely hold the implants that replace your natural teeth’s roots. A sinus lift is often the solution if you have lost bone density or your jawbone is too thin.
To determine if you are a candidate for a sinus lift, Dr. Rothstein carefully evaluates your jawbone, teeth, and maxillary sinuses. He also takes digital images and x-rays to get a complete picture of your dental health and the condition of the jawbone to help determine where and how much grafting is needed. Some indications you may be a candidate for a sinus lift include:
- Missing teeth at the back of the mouth
- Bone deterioration in the upper jaw
- Missing all or most of your upper teeth
- Upper teeth that have been missing for a long time
- Damage to the upper jaw or sinuses due to injury or trauma
Sinus Lift Procedure
The key to a successful and long-lasting dental implant is the quality and quantity of jaw bone to which the implant will be attached. If bone loss has occurred due to injury or periodontal disease, a sinus augmentation can raise the sinus floor and allow for new bone formation.
For a maxillary sinus augmentation, a small incision is made in the gums (near the molars), exposing the jawbone. Dr. Rothstein cuts a small opening in the jawbone so he can push the sinus membrane out of the way and up into the sinus floor. Bone grafting material is placed in the space, using enough material to fill the space, encourage new bone growth, and provide a solid foundation for dental implants.
After the bone graft is in place, Dr. Rothstein sutures the gums back in place. Over several months, the graft material should fuse with the bone around it and become a vital part of the jawbone. When healing is complete, dental implants can be placed in the jawbone.
What are bone graft materials?
Sources of biocompatible materials for sinus lift and bone grafting include:
- Synthetic bone
- Bone harvested from your body, usually the hip or leg
- Bone from a bone bank
- Cadaver bone
Can I have a bone graft and dental implants on the same day?
Most of the time, a sinus lift needs to be performed first, then given several months to heal so that the grafts become a part of the jawbone through a process called osseointegration. However, if there is enough bone between the maxillary sinus and the upper jawbone ridge, you may be able to have implants placed on the same day. Dr. Rothstein can determine whether you can have a sinus lift and dental implants placed on the same day.
If you are interested in dental implants but are concerned you may need a sinus lift, please get in touch with AR Periodontics for a consultation. If you need a sinus lift, Dr. Rothstein makes the procedure as painless and pleasant as possible. With sinus augmentation, you may be able to get permanent dental implants for a beautiful smile even if you have been unable to get them in the past.
Contact us to schedule a consultation and learn more about getting a sinus lift in Livingstone or Essex Fells, NJ.