Also called a sinus augmentation, a sinus lift is a surgical procedure that adds bone to your upper jaw in the area of your molars and premolars (towards the back of the mouth). At Brunswick Smiles Family Dentistry in Monmouth Junction, NJ, this procedure may be recommended to prepare a patient for dental implants.
A sinus lift is performed when there is an insufficient bone height in the upper jaw for dental implants to be placed. If the sinuses are too close to the jaw, they will also have to be moved upward, or “lifted,” to make room for the additional bone.
The bone used for a sinus lift can come from several sources – the patient’s own body, a cadaver, or from cow bone. If the bone is taken from the body (an autogenous graft), it will be taken from other areas of the mouth or the hip or tibia. X-rays will first be taken to give your dentist a clear idea of the anatomy of your jaw and sinus. If you experience seasonal allergies, the procedure will have to be scheduled when they are not active.
To begin the procedure, your surgeon will first cut the gum tissue where the back teeth used to be, then lift it to expose the bone. A small, oval window will then be made into the bone to access the sinus. The membrane lining the sinus on the other side of the window will be gently pushed up and away from the jaw. The bone graft material will be packed into space where the sinus previously was; the amount used will vary from one patient to another. The area will be covered again with the tissue, which is closed using stitches. It will take about four to nine months for the grafted material to integrate with the bone of the body fully.
There will likely be swelling in the area following the procedure, as well as some bleeding in the mouth or nose. You may receive saline sprays and/or pain medication from your dentist, along with instructions on how to handle the area to aid with healing.
Contact us at Brunswick Smiles in Monmouth Junction, NJ to learn more about a sinus lift procedure.