Dental implant surgery requires that you have enough healthy bone tissue to support each implant. If you’ve been told you need a sinus lift before you can receive implants, it either means you don’t have enough bone height in your back upper jaw, or your sinuses are too close to your jawbone. A sinus lift is a simple procedure that's designed to correct these issues. Implant expert Dr. Andy Le provides comprehensive dental implantation services, including sinus lift surgery, at Le Chabot Dental in San Leandro, California. To find out more, call or book your appointment online today.
A sinus lift is done to increase the amount of bone you have in the upper jaw area near your molars and premolars. Also known as sinus augmentation surgery, the procedure essentially raises the sinus floor to make room for the new bone tissue, which is added between your jaw and maxillary sinuses on either side of your nose.
If you need a sinus lift before you can receive implants, it’s because you don’t have enough room in the molar and premolar area of your upper jawbone.
Not having enough room can mean one of two things: you don’t have enough bone to accommodate the implants in that area, or your sinuses are situated too close to your jawbone to receive implants.
Although the anatomy of your skull means that you naturally have less bone in your upper jaw than you do in your lower jaw, there may be other reasons that you lack sufficient bone in your upper jaw.
Periodontal (gum) disease can cause you to lose bone mass, as can tooth loss. In fact, many people who have lost molars in their upper jaws — including wisdom teeth — don’t have enough bone tissue for dental implantation.
Healthy teeth help maintain adequate bone tissue, while tooth loss causes supporting bone loss because your body gradually reabsorbs much of the supporting bone tissue in that area.
Finally, your maxillary sinuses can grow larger as you age, leaving insufficient room for dental implants.
Before you can undergo sinus lift surgery, you need to have an X-ray and computed tomography (CT) scan of the area so that Dr. Le can accurately measure your existing bone tissue and assess the health of your sinuses.
Although several different techniques can be used to lift the sinus and build bone mass, one of the most common techniques starts with an incision in your upper gums that exposes the bone. Next, a small circular or oval section of bone is removed to access the membrane that separates your sinus from your jaw.
After this membrane is gently pushed up and away from your jawbone, granules of bone graft material are packed into the space where the sinus was. Dr. Le will explain your options for graft materials, which are what help regenerate lost bone and tissue.
While it can take up to 12 months to develop the amount of bone tissue needed to support implants, some patients are ready for implants much sooner.