Few people have had a reason to have a sinus lift, so they have never heard of it. To most, it just sounds like a painful procedure. If one day you find that you need a sinus lift, it is better to know what it is. A sinus lift is a type of surgery where the maxillary sinus is lifted to make room for more bone. Your maxillary sinuses are cavities that reside at the back of your upper jaw. When the sinus is lifted, bone is grafted in the new space. This new bone gives the dentist more room to work with when doing a dental implant.
Everyone that needs a dental implant may not need to get a sinus lift. A sinus lift is needed if there isn’t enough bone to support a dental implant. If there isn’t enough bone in your upper jaw, the implant won’t anchor correctly, which means the implant won’t work properly.
Many factors can contribute to bone loss in your upper jaw.
- Birth defects
- Periodontal disease
- Naturally thin jawbone or large sinus cavities
- Tooth loss
If you have had tooth loss, your jawbone can become thinner as the years go on. If this happens, then your dentist will recommend a sinus lift to accommodate a dental implant.
- Prep: When you or your dentist think you should get dental implants, there will be a consultation where you talk about why dental implants are a good idea.
After the consultation, there will be an examination. The doctor will examine your mouth, teeth, and gums. They will also take X-rays of your mouth to see your skull structure, especially your jawbone.
If it is clear that in order to get the implant, you will need a sinus lift, then that procedure will be done first.
- Procedure: There are a few different ways to do the procedure, and the best way varies from person to person. It all depends on the amount of bone in your jaw bone, bone graft type, and dental implant type.
First, they give you a numbing agent. This could be sedatives or a local anesthetic. A surgeon will make a few cuts in the back of your gum to expose bone, which the surgeon will then cut.
Once they cut the bone, they will lift the bone into the sinus cavity. This will raise the membrane.
In the newly empty spot, the surgeon will place the bone graft and stitch up the area.It is understandable to want the sinus lift and dental implants done at the same time. Of course, you would want to get it all over with, but that is not possible. After the sinus lift, you need to heal. It may take 4 to 10 months.
To ensure that your body heals, recovery is important. During this recovery period, you need to be sure to take the antibiotics, no teeth brushing, no smoking, and no drinking through a straw. You should also avoid blowing your nose and try not to sneeze because this could move the bone graft.
If you are feeling any pain and discomfort, you should take pain relievers as directed.
You should feel discomfort for a few days. If it lasts longer, there may be some complications from the surgery. You may experience swelling or bleeding, which should go away in time, but you should still tell your doctor.
The primary side effect is the puncturing of the Schneiderian membrane. The Schneiderian membrane is what lines the maxillary sinus cavity. If this membrane is punctured, you are at a greater risk of developing chronic sinusitis and a sinus infection.
Normally, if a surgeon sees that this membrane has a hole in it, they will try to fix it. If that is not possible, then they will end the surgery. They will send you home to heal and recover, and then another surgery will b