A sinus lift, also called sinus augmentation, is a procedure that makes it easier toplace dental implants. For patients that suffer from bone loss and cannotwithstand implants, it is the optimal procedure and provides needed support.
This procedure increases the amount of bone in the upper jaw that is required fordental implants and is one of the most common bone grafting procedures fordental implant patients.
Oftentimes, sinus augmentations are one of the many procedures done during afull mouth reconstruction.
Over the last 25 years, dental implants have become more and more readilyavailable making them an increasingly common dental procedure. As morepeople get dental implants to replace missing teeth, sinus lifts also have becomemore common.
A sinus augmentation may be necessary if you are missing teeth and jawbone inthe back of your jaw, near your sinuses. Jawbone and teeth in this area could belost due to birth defects, periodontal disease, cancer, other medical conditions, orjust the natural healing process. A sinus lift can also be necessary if your sinusesare too close to your upper jaw and you need more space to place the implant.
What Happens Before a Sinus Augmentation Procedure?
A sinus lift is essentially a bone transplant. You’re using a bone from one placeand using it in your upper jaw. The three most common types of bone used insinus lift surgeries are:
After the bone source is identified, your surgeon and/or dental specialist will takegreat care to study the anatomy of your jaw and sinus to acquire accuratemeasurements.
The sinus lift procedure is a safe and straightforward procedure. Generallyperformed by a prosthodontist or an oral surgeon, a sinus augmentation isgenerally performed at the prosthodontist or oral surgeon’s office, the entireprocess takes between 90 minutes to two hours.
Patients are able to go home after they wake from the anesthesia. After theprocedure, most patients experience a little swelling and bleeding, but onlyminimal discomfort. The most important part of recovery is to keep the bone graftin place, so it’s crucial to avoid blowing your nose (or sneezing, if possible) beingthat they can cause the bone-graft material to move and loosen the stitches.When you go home, you will likely get a saline spray to keep your nose moist, aprescription to prevent congestion and swelling, a prescription for pain medicine,an antibiotic, and/or an antimicrobial mouthwash to help prevent infection. Mostpatients will be in bed with ice around the area for a day or so until they canresume normal activities.
You will have a follow-up appointment with the dental specialist 7-10 days afteryour surgery. During this appointment, the specialist will examine the surgical siteand may remove any stitches that have not dissolved on their own. In somecases, patients are asked to return a few more times just to make sure the areais healing properly and to take necessary x-ray images.
A full recovery from a sinus lift takes a minimum of 6 months for the sinuses toheal and the bone to be strong enough to support dental implants. Although theprocess may seem slow, you are working towards results that will last a lifetime.
The cost for a sinus lift is usually between $1,500 for a small and simple lift to$5,000 for more complicated cases. Where there is more bone graft materialrequired, the cost of the surgery typically increases. You want to ensure you areworking with a thorough and qualified professional when considering majorsurgery.
The main risk of this surgery is the piercing or tearing of the membrane. If thishappens, it can be repaired and the surgery can continue. However, in the caseof a larger tear, the membrane would need to be given time to heal before the liftcan take place again later.
The bigger risk is a sinus infection. Your surgeon will give you medication toprotect against this and you should be careful not to sneeze or blow your nosetoo heavily to avoid moving the bone graft material or dislodge your stitches. Forthis reason, we don’t recommend getting a sinus augmentation during yourallergy season.
While sinus lift surgery might seem like a major undertaking, those who havegone through it report the benefits are completely worth it. This relatively new, buteffective surgery is the answer to patients that don’t have any other means tosupport their dental implants.
With a sinus augmentation, you can enjoy all the benefits of natural, strong, andbeautiful teeth – even if you have missing or failing jaw bones. Our surgical teamwill walk you through every step to give you the smile you’ve always wanted.For more information on a sinus lift, give us a call today.