A sinus lift is a tried and tested surgical treatment carried out prior to the placement of dental implants at Alexandra Garcia, DDS, MS. It is a common procedure used to replace lost bone in the jaw so that a dental implant can be inserted successfully.
Why Do I Need to Have a Sinus Lift?
The sinuses are air-filled cavities located on either side of the nose and they may need to be lifted to replace bone in the jaw in this area which may be too thin or has been lost because of periodontitis (advanced gum disease) or because of bone resorption from around the socket of a missing tooth.
What Is the Sinus Lift Procedure?
A sinus lift is a bone grafting procedure where new bone is grafted onto the existing jawbone to make it viable for holding a dental implant. There are multiple ways to obtain grafting material for this procedure.
Before the procedure begins, we will need to determine where the bone grafting material is coming from. It can be from elsewhere on your body, or from an animal, but very often these days it is a synthetic material called hydroxyapatite which is used.
What Happens During the Sinus Lift Procedure?
The surgery generally takes more than an hour and can be carried out with a local anesthetic and conscious sedation. The surgeon will make an incision in the gum to create a flap where your tooth used to be. The flap is opened to expose the bone, and a small circle is cut into it, which is filled with bone grafting material. The gum flap is moved back into place and stitched over to allow the healing to take place.
It could be anywhere between three and 12 months after your sinus lift surgery that your bone will be sufficiently augmented to receive a dental implant. A patient must be ready to commit the time to this procedure to ensure that it has the outcome desired.
What Is the Recovery After the Sinus Lift Procedure?
You can expect to have bruising and swelling around the face after your sinus lift procedure. It is likely you will have some bleeding around the surgical site in your mouth for a few days following the surgery, and you may experience some discomfort. You will be asked to refrain from blowing your nose or doing anything which may loosen your stitches or cause the bone grafting material to dislodge. It may help if you use ice packs on your face to help improve swelling, which will help to speed your recovery.
You may be given a saline spray for your nose, and medication to help with inflammation, congestion, and pain. You may also be prescribed antibiotics to help ward off infection. Then, a follow-up appointment will usually be made for you to see your dental specialist seven to 10 days after surgery, where your wound site will be checked to ensure it is healing well, and any stitches that have not dissolved are removed. Swelling should have eased considerably by this time, although it could take several weeks for it all to dissipate completely.
It is important to remember that a sinus lift is a surgical procedure that will require you to take things easy to allow your body to heal fully. To find out more about sinus lifts, contact our experts at Alexandra Garcia, DDS, MS by phoning (346) 250-2930.