What is a Sinus Lift?

Behind the cheek and upper teeth region lie the maxillary sinuses. The maxillary sinuses are empty, air-filled spaces that sometimes house roots which extend from the upper teeth. Upon removal of the upper teeth, the maxillary sinus is separated from the mouth by a mere wall of bone. Since dental implants require a sufficient amount of bone, it is not possible to insert implants when the maxillary sinus wall is exceedingly thin.

sinus lift illustrationIn order to ensure a successful dental implant process, the jawbone must be sufficient in both quantity and quality. The possibility of a sinus augmentation is offered to patients who have undergone injury or periodontal disease, as it can raise the sinus floor and enable new bone to form. A sinus lift is typical among patients who have experienced bone loss in the upper jaw region. The sinus lift promotes the growth of bone in the area above the gum on which teeth are anchored. Through this process, dental implants are more successfully implanted into the new, stronger bone growth.

Am I a Candidate for a Sinus Lift Procedure?

A sinus lift is recommended for patients who are:

  • Missing more than one tooth in the back of the jaw
  • Missing a large amount of bone in the back of the jaw
  • Missing teeth because of a condition or birth defect
  • Missing most maxillary teeth, but need support for dental implants

How is this Oral Surgery Accomplished?

Typically, in order to expose the jawbone, a small incision is made on the premolar or molar region. This opening enables the membrane that lines the maxillary sinus to be lifted. The space below is filled with bone grafting material, which is taken from either a cadaver or another bone from the patient’s body.

Occasionally, synthetic materials are used to replicate original bone formation. Once the artificial bone has been implanted, Dr. Raschkovsky will stitch up the incision and thus begin the healing process. The dental implants can be inserted several months later, once the new bone becomes integrated into the jaw.

In the event that there is sufficient bone to stabilize the implant with necessity for synthetic bone, the procedure can be performed in one part. However, if it is required that Dr. Raschkovsky perform a sinus augmentation, it can take several months before the graft has matured. Only after the graft has become mature can the dental implant procedure take place.

The availability of the sinus graft as a technique for implants provides a renowned solution to tooth loss that replaces the previous need for dentures.

Local anesthesia is usually administered while Dr. Raschkovsky is performing the sinus augmentation. Oral or intravenous sedative medication is also available upon request.