What is a Sinus Lift and Why is it Needed?

When you attend your initial consultation for a dental implant in Ajax, your dentist may talk to you about the possible need for a sinus lift. It might initially sound a little worrying, but you should not be concerned because a sinus lift is a very common and highly successful procedure. You might need a sinus lift if you are considering implant treatment to replace your upper back teeth.

What is It?
A sinus lift is sometimes called a sinus augmentation and is a small surgical procedure that will add more bone to your upper jaw. Bone is inserted between your sinus cavities and your jaws. Your sinus cavities are located either side of your nose and are air-filled spaces. To create enough room for the additional bone, your dentist will ‘lift’ the sinus membrane, creating a gap between the membrane and your jaw. The empty space is then filled with suitable bone grafting material.

Why is it Needed?
Sinus lifts are frequently needed because there isn’t sufficient height of bone in the upper jaw to support dental implants replacing the upper back teeth. Sometimes the sinuses are quite close to the jaw and bone tends to be slightly thinner in these areas. Other times, the lack of bone is due to facial anatomy. You can also lose bone if you had advanced periodontal disease. Once teeth are removed, then bone is naturally reabsorbed over time. Resorption is one reason why an implant dentist in Whitby will suggest replacing missing teeth soon after they are removed, to help prevent more bone loss. The shape and size of sinuses can vary quite a bit, and some people might have larger sinuses, and they can enlarge with age.

How Will My Dentist Know If I Need a Sinus Lift?
Your dental implant dentist in Newcastle will advise you to have a cone beam CT scan. For your convenience, we have a CT scanner here at Durham Implant Solutions so you won’t need to travel elsewhere. Your CT scan provides a detailed 3-D image of your jaws, allowing your implant dentist to quantify the amount of bone available and its quality. The highly detailed information is also used to plan your sinus lift and subsequent implant placement.

What to Expect During a Sinus Lift
If you do need a sinus lift, then your dental implant dentist in Pickering will make sure you feel completely comfortable during the procedure, and if required, you can always have additional sedation. During the procedure, they will make a small incision into your gums to expose your jawbone. Next, a tiny window is cut into the bone exposing the sinus membrane. The membrane is carefully pushed up, creating the space needed for the bone graft. Bone grafting material is packed into the space created by your implant dentist. These days there are some enormously sophisticated bone grafting materials available, and which contain special proteins and growth factors to help the bone graft integrate more efficiently and effectively with your own jawbone.

The amount of bone required varies from person to person, but it’s not uncommon for several millimetres to be added. Once all the bone material is in place, the incision in your gums is stitched shut. Now all that remains is for the bone grafting material to integrate with your jawbone. Your implant dentist in Courtice can advise you as to how long this will take, depending on the amount of bone placed. Once completed, your dental implants can be placed.

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