What Is A Sinus Lift?
A sinus lift is a surgical procedure that involves adding bone to the upper jaw, usually in the area of the molars Patients often need a sinus lift in order to make room in their mouth for dental implants. Sometimes called a sinus augmentation, this procedure adds bone between the upper jaw and the maxillary sinuses, underneath your sinus cavities, which are located on either side of your nose. When this bone is added, your sinus cavity must be moved upward to make sure that your jaw and sinuses aren’t too close together.
Why Is A Sinus Lift Needed?
There are many reasons you may need to have bone added to your upper jaw. Some of the cases where you would need a sinus lift include:
- If you have lost teeth and are in need of dental implants. Before you can have your implants placed, the back of your jaw by your molars may need to have bone added so the implants can be placed. Generally, the back of your mouth has less bone than the front of your mouth, and that is why you may need bone added there.
- When too much bone is lost after having a periodontal disease to support implants. If periodontal disease is allowed to run rampant to the point where you’ve lost teeth, you will lose the bone that once surrounded your teeth. Patients will need to have bone added if they have lost too much bone.
- If your sinus cavity is too close to your upper jaw. If you need implants placed but your upper jaw is too close to your sinus cavity, you will need to have a sinus lift. This will vary from person to person depending on the size of their sinus cavity.
How Is A Sinus Lift Done?
The first step in this procedure is to get the bone that will be used for the graft. This can come from the patient’s body, from a cadaver, or from cow bone. All of these options are good sources. We also take X-rays and CT scans to study the anatomy of the patient’s jaw and sinuses. This gives us an idea of how much new bone we need, in effect how much we’ll want to “lift” the sinus.
To start the procedure, we make an incision into the gum where the implant is planned. This exposes the jawbone. Then a moveable flap is cut through the jawbone into the sinus cavity. This flap is pressed gently upward into the sinus cavity, “lifting” the sinus membrane. This “lift” now has created empty space in the bottom of the sinus cavity that can be filled with bone graft material. To be sure enough mass is added, usually, several millimeters of bone is added above the jaw.
Once the bone graft material is in place, the gum tissue is closed with stitches. This ends the procedure. Now the bone graft has to get to work building the new jawbone mass. After between four and nine months, the bone graft will have fully meshed and become a part of the jawbone. Now there is sufficient mass to place the implant.
Experts In The Field
At many dental practices, they will tell you that you need a sinus lift and then proceed to send you to another dental practice to have the sinus lift performed. This is an inconvenience that you do not need to suffer through. At Clear Lake Dental Care, we perform sinus lifts in our office, right where you get your cleanings and other procedures. Once we tell you that you will need a sinus lift, you can make your appointment immediately. You won’t have to deal with any outside practices; you will have the procedure done at a practice that you trust.
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Our staff does an amazing job at working with our patients because they will treat you the way that you want to be treated. Not only is our staff kind, but they are also extremely experienced and know what they are doing when they are on the job! Our job is to make you feel comfortable and feel right at home in our office!
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