Sinus Lift Surgery and What You Need To Know

Sinus lift surgery is used when we need to provide implant placement close to your nasal sinuses (air-filled cavities behind your nose.) A sinus lift procedure should be paired with dental implants if there is bone loss and the sinus lining is dropping or needs a bone graft placed. During sinus lifts, we strengthen existing bone to create room for the implant. How much bone there is already will determine if a sinus lift procedure is even necessary. Many patients simply aren’t aware of the process. 

What is a Sinus Lift?

A sinus graft or lift procedure is a dental treatment where the tissue along the sinus cavity is lifted to place a bone graft and strengthen the jaw bone. It’s used when there is bone loss in the upper jaw, creating a situation where dental implants might rupture through the sinus lining. As such, sinus augmentation (sinus lifts) eliminates the risk of complications or failure. 

Our Scottsdale dental office provides sinus lift surgery, eliminating outside referrals for your sinus lift procedure. 

sinus lift bone graft

Who Needs Sinus Augmentations? 

This sinus lift procedure can apply to anyone with past periodontal disease who needs a bone graft in their upper jaw or is planning on getting dental implants.

Sinus lifting involves opening the gum tissue, lifting the sinus lining, and placing bone graft material. Sinus augmentation does need some time to heal before you can place a dental implant unless the two are being completed at the same time. 

Usually, a sinus lift procedure will be recommended if a previous dentist told you that you didn’t qualify for dental implants or you’ve gone several years with missing teeth. Sinus lift surgery and grafting can change that!

Dangers of Avoiding Sinus Lifts

Without a sinus augmentation procedure, you won’t have enough bone to safely place a dental implant near your maxillary sinuses. The bone graft placed during your sinus lift procedure will strengthen the jaw bone, reducing the chances of your dental implants rupturing the sinus membrane. If a specialist tells you that you need a sinus lift procedure, then it’s best not to avoid it. 

Sinus lift surgery is safe and predictable, expanding your options for smile reconstruction. 

If You’re Having Teeth Removed Soon

People who experience tooth loss—whether natural or because of an extraction—typically see changes in their bone. Especially if it’s the upper jaw. As part of your extraction or oral surgery, sinus augmentation will include placing graft material at the extraction site to help prevent the sinus lining from dropping. 

If needed, your dentist or oral surgeon can also perform sinus lift surgery to prepare the site for dental implants, even if they’re not being placed at the same time as the sinus lift procedure. 

If You’re Planning to Get Dental Implants

Any time you’re getting dental implants to replace upper teeth, there’s a chance they will be close to your maxillary sinus. The sinus cavity space could shift and change when you have missing teeth. A dental specialist like Dr. Sheth will need to place autogenous bone with your sinus lift surgery so that you do not develop a chronic sinus infection after they place dental implants. 

Thanks to sinus lift surgery, more people qualify for dental implants than ever before. It is a great solution for denture wearers who have gone years without teeth and may not have a sufficient amount of bone for dental implants. Even if you’ve been told in the past that you don’t qualify for implants, sinus augmentation may be able to change that. 

sinus augmentation bone graft with dental implants

The Sinus Lift Procedure

What should you expect during a sinus lift procedure? Like any other bone graft or surgical procedure, sinus augmentation will involve numbing medication to ensure you’re comfortable. Sedation may also be recommended as the new bone is placed. 

A small circle opening is created at the surgical area to access the bone and sinus floor. Next, the mucosal lining is gently lifted to the ideal bone height, and a bony piece of graft material is placed underneath it. Once the opening is filled with bone, your sinus lift procedure allows a safe environment to install dental implants. 

Sometimes implants and augmentation are performed at the same time, but other times they are not. Much of it depends on the patient and the recommendations of our Scottsdale implant provider. 

Like a tooth extraction or similar oral surgery, Sinus lift surgery will require some time off of work as you recover.

Recovery After Sinus Lift Surgery

As with any surgical procedure, there may be some minimal discomfort for a few days. Good oral health will help prevent infection as your own body initiates the healing process around your surgical site. 

For a sinus augmentation procedure to be successful, you’ll want to keep your nose moist with saline spray and avoid blowing your nose. Pain medication, antibiotics, and an anti-inflammatory medication may also be recommended to manage slight discomfort or prevent infection. You’ll also want to have a cold compress at home to apply it for 20 minutes at a time during the first day. The cooler temperatures will help reduce inflammation, which in turn manages post-operative pain. 

If bleeding continues around the surgical area, be sure to let us know. We will usually see you for a follow-up appointment within a few days or a couple of weeks after your sinus lift procedure. It’s important to make sure the area around the bone grafting material is healing properly and has a good blood supply. The main risk is to prevent congestion and infection where we plan to install your dental implants. 

With the right diet, rest, hydration, and home care, your sinus lift surgery can be a huge success. Just plan to take off a few days after your sinus lift procedure, the same way you would with getting dental implants or having wisdom teeth removed. 

If, for any reason, you experience complications after your sinus lift surgery, contact our Scottsdale dentist immediately. 

Choosing a Dentist for Your Sinus Lift

Sinus lift surgery is usually completed by oral surgeons or skilled implant dentists like Dr. Sheth. Also, your sinus lift procedure is generally performed both with local anesthesia as well as some type of sedation, so be sure to choose your provider accordingly. 

Scottsdale Dental Solutions offers both dental implants and oral surgery like the sinus lift procedure. Contact our office today to learn more and speak with Dr. Sheth. 

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