Dental implants are a great option for replacing missing teeth – they are stable and successfully restore functionality and look to your smile. Although the procedure is fairly standard for many patients, an extra step of a sinus lift may be required for some patients before the dental implants are placed.
A sinus lift is a procedure that restores bone to support dental implants. The bone may be lost due to several reasons. Loss of teeth in the upper jaw (especially molars) and gum disease are two reasons a sinus lift may be necessary for a patient. In some cases, a patient may simply have a maxillary sinus located too close to the upper jaw.
The bone used for a sinus lift can come from the patient’s own body, a cadaver, or an animal, namely a cow. Bone from the patient’s own body may come from elsewhere in the mouth or from other parts of the body, such as the tibia or hip.
To perform a sinus lift, the gum tissue must first be cut in the area where the back teeth were located. The tissue is raised to expose the bone, and a small oval window is created in the bone to push the membrane that separates the sinus from the jaw up and away. Small granules of bone are then packed into the space where the sinus was. Once this is complete, the tissue is stitched back together; healing will take between four and nine months.
It should be noted that, because a sinus lift is technically a surgery, it is important to visit a doctor who specializes in such procedures and is qualified to speak with you about the risks involved and how they are prevented. Book an appointment at Sweetwater Dental Studio for a consultation.