Making Room For A Secure Implant
Sinus lift, or sinus augmentation, is a surgery that adds bone to your upper jaw, usually in the molar and premolar area, so that a dental implant is secure.
What is a Sinus Lift?
Some dental treatments require dental implants to be successful. Dr. Koch, of Advanced Dental Care, in Jasper, Texas, will need to evaluate the structural reliability of your jaw bone to determine if it can support dental implants. If he finds your bone structure needs enhancement prior to placement of dental implants, one option he may recommend is a sinus lift.
Sinus lift, or sinus augmentation, is a surgical procedure that adds bone to your upper jaw, usually in the molar and premolar area. Dr. Koch recommends the procedure to ready the jaw bone for dental implants by a bone grafting process. The bone composite grows between your jaw and your maxillary sinuses, located on either side of your nose. To allow space for new bone growth, your sinus membrane actually needs to be “lifted,” therefore, sinus lift.
How do I know if I need a Sinus Lift?
Two factors usually dictate if you will need a sinus lift or not to accommodate your dental treatment. One factor is if the bone in your upper jaw is weak and requires structural strengthening to support dental implants. Another factor is if your sinus cavities are in close proximity to your upper jaw. During your dental examination, Dr. Koch will determine whether you will need a sinus lift or not for him to be able to accomplish a successful dental treatment for you. If your dental history includes any of the following conditions, you may need a sinus lift.
- Your upper jaw has back teeth missing.
- Your jaw bone has been weakened by periodontal disease.
- Your jaw bone has become resorbent due to missing teeth.
- Your sinuses prevent proper placement of dental implants into your jaw bone.
By the use of a CT scan or x-ray, Dr. Koch or his hygienists can determine if sufficient space is available for your dental implants. If not, a sinus lift easily rectifies the situation, opening up the area.
More and more patients are choosing dental implants for their dental restorations, making sinus lifts more common. A sinus lift is a safe procedure that makes possible other dental treatments.
What is the Sinus Lift Procedure?
A sinus lift is a three-part procedure: preparation, implementation, and follow up.
- Preparation: To prepare, a Advanced Dental Care team member takes a CT scan or x-ray of your jaw and sinuses. The image shows the height and width of your existing bone and shows the form of your sinuses. Dr. Koch uses a freeze-dried bone composite for your sinus lift. The freeze-dried bone is sterile, granular, and compatible with your body. Amazingly, freeze-dried bone causes your body to form a natural bone at the site of the dental implant.
- Implementation: Dr. Koch makes an incision in your gum tissue where your molars used to be, and lifts the tissue flaps to expose your jaw bone. Next, he cuts an egg-shaped pattern into the bone. Your sinus membrane sits on the other side of the bone, separating your sinus cavity from your jaw bone. Once Dr. Koch has access to this area, he packs the granular, freeze-dried bone matter into the cavity. With skilled training and a keen eye, Dr. Koch calculates the exact amount of bone to use. He packs the bone matter into the cavity and then sutures your gum tissues back together. In a matter of four to nine months, the sinus lift procedure made it possible for the growth of new bone.
- Follow up: As with any surgical procedure, after your sinus lift, you must take protective measures not to disturb the dental work. As a part of the procedure, it is imperative that the bone matter remains in the sinus cavity and the sutures remain intact. Unfortunately, an uncontrollable sneeze or a hardy nose blowing may result in movement of the bone graft materials or undoing of the sutures. Try to avoid these if possible. Dr. Koch may give you a saline nose spray to keep the inner lining of your nose moist and a prescription to reduce your chances of sneezing. You will also receive pain medication, an antibiotic, and mouthwash antiseptic. After a week to ten days, you will return to our office for Dr. Koch to evaluate your healing process and possibly remove your stitches. Depending on how quickly you heal, Dr. Koch may want to see you a few more times to make sure you are healing properly.
Now, your new bone is ready to support the dental implant for your new tooth.
Advanced Dental Care recognizes that the sinus lift procedure is lengthy and painful; however, it is necessary and important to ensure a successful dental implant, so if you are apprehensive about the sinus lift procedure, please speak with one of our friendly dental team members to learn about oral sedation. Oral sedation dentistry provides a pain-free dental experience during your sinus lift – a lift that definitely gives your smile a lift.