Dental implants can restore the form and function of your smile as well as provide excellent long-term oral health outcomes. However, certain factors affect your candidacy. Some patients may need a sinus lift before dental implants to ensure strength and longevity.
What Is a Sinus Lift?
A sinus lift is an oral surgery procedure that augments the maxillary sinus floor. The maxillary sinus sits below the eye and to the side of the nose, meaning it is above the molars and premolars. Sometimes, you need a sinus lift before dental implants to ensure your jaw is strong enough to support them.
A sinus lift is a type of bone graft where bone tissue from another area or donor is transplanted. The new tissue heals and integrates with existing bone, creating a solid foundation for dental implants. As many as one in four dental implant candidates require some type of bone graft.1 And sinus lifts specifically also entail gently lifting the sinus membrane to make room for the graft.
Why You May Need a Sinus Lift Before Dental Implants
A sinus lift is necessary when the bone making up the floor of the maxillary sinus is too thin or weak. Dental implants need a strong foundation to ensure successful placement and long-term durability. If the bone is too thin, the dental implant could extend through and pierce the maxillary sinus or fail due to a lack of support.
Some patients require a sinus lift simply because their maxillary sinus is naturally too close to the upper jaw. There doesn’t have to be anything wrong for a patient to require a sinus lift; it can be needed due to natural variation.
In other cases, a sinus lift may be required due to bone deterioration. Gum disease, tooth decay, and other conditions can weaken the bone in the affected area. A sinus lift augments the deteriorated bone to provide the necessary strength for dental implants.
Your Sinus Lift Before Dental Implants Procedure
First, the team at Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester will carry out a full evaluation to determine whether dental implants are the right choice for you. We’ll assess whether you may need additional procedures, such as a sinus lift, and then carefully develop your custom treatment plan.
The periodontist will make a small incision in the gum tissue to expose the bone. They will then make a small hole in the bone before carefully using special tools to work through the hole, lift the sinus floor, and place the grafted bone tissue. They then close the incision, and the procedure is complete.
A variety of sedation options can be used during the surgery to ensure your comfort. Your periodontist will discuss those options with you and your unique needs while planning the procedure.
Recovery After Your Procedure
Recovering from bone graft surgery is typically straightforward and comfortable. You might experience some swelling and light bleeding during the first few days. While any symptoms will fade quickly, it takes time for the bone graft to integrate fully. Based on your case, your periodontist will determine when it’s the right time to place the implant.
Find Out More About Your Candidacy for Dental Implants
If you have missing teeth, you can visit the dental implants team at Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester to discuss dental implants as an option. We’ll carefully assess your jaw to determine whether a sinus lift — or other types of bone grafting — may be necessary for your treatment. Schedule an appointment today to get started. 585-685-2005.