A sinus lift is a surgery done when there’s insufficient bone height in a patient’s upper jaw. This procedure increases the bone density in the upper jaw by filling in the space between a patient’s molars and premolars with a bone graft. For patients who are planning to get dental implants but lack the necessary jawbone mass, a sinus lift is often recommended. In case you are experiencing extreme discomfort or pain, inflammation, or persistent bleeding after your sinus lift surgery, you must immediately see your doctor as these may indicate that there is a problem.

What is Sinus Lift Surgery?

A sinus lift, also called a sinus graft or sinus augmentation, is a type of bone grafting dental procedure done on the upper jaw. A sinus graft adds bone density between the maxillary sinuses and the upper jaw making it easier for the oral surgeon or dentist to install dental implants. The maxillary sinuses are hollow areas behind the cheekbones and above the upper teeth. The upper back molars frequently have roots that extend into the sinuses. After teeth are lost or removed, very little of the supporting jawbone is still present. Sinus lifts are typically performed by dental specialists such as periodontists or oral maxillofacial surgeons.

Is a Sinus Lift Necessary to Install Dental Implants?

Prior to getting dental implants, patients with narrow upper jawbones frequently undergo sinus lift surgery. This is due to the possibility that a dental implant could fail due to insufficient bone density supporting it. Here are some of the reasons why a sinus lift surgery is necessary prior to implant placement.

  • Lack of upper jawbone height
  • Thin jawbone
  • Close proximity of the sinuses to the jaw
  • Close proximity of adjacent teeth roots
  • Large sinus cavities

What Are the Steps in a Sinus Lift Surgery?

Sinus lift surgery can be performed using a variety of methods. The best course of action for you may depend on a number of factors, including the amount of jawbone you presently have, the sort of bone transplant the dentist is performing, and the future plan for placing dental implants. Below are the common steps involved in sinus lift surgery.

  1. A local anesthetic will be used to numb the surgical site in order to ensure you are comfortable during your surgery.
  2. Incisions will be made by your oral surgeon to expose the bone behind your gum tissue.
  3. A small part of the bone will be cut.
  4. The sliced portion of the bone will be lifted up into the sinus cavity elevating the sinus membrane.
  5. Bone graft materials will be applied to fill the hole.
  6. Sutures will be used by your oral surgeon to close the incisions.

How Long After Sinus Lift Can Dental Implants Be Placed?

The full healing time of a patient who has had a sinus lift can take from four to twelve months, according to the American Academy of Periodontology. The new bone must properly fuse with your existing bone during this recovery period in order to provide strong and stable support for dental implants. The procedure can move forward with the placement of a dental implant once your sinuses have fully recovered.

A sinus lift for dental implants typically requires a long healing period; however, this much time is essential for the success of dental implant placement. Patients with big sinus cavities, inadequate upper jawbone height, or thin jawbones are particularly in need of a sinus lift before getting implant placement.

What are the Possible Complications of Sinus Lift?

Although sinus lifts are generally deemed safe, problems can still occur. Sinus lift complications may occur during or after surgery, and occasionally, even while you’re recovering from the sinus lift surgery. The 4 most common sinus lift complications are listed below.

Sinus Infection

Infection is a possibility with any surgery. Although rare, a sinus infection after a sinus lift surgery is nonetheless possible. An infection is typically caused by inadequate postoperative care or sanitary problems during the procedure.

Sinus Graft Failure

A sinus graft might fail; however, it is uncommon. This is a result of a failure of your transplanted bone properly fusing with your surrounding bone. Prior to doing another sinus lift procedure, your dentist will give you enough time to heal first.

Sinus Membrane Puncturing or Tearing

Sinus membrane puncturing or tearing is the most common side effect of sinus lift surgery. If this happens, your surgeon will be able to suture or patch the perforated sinus membrane. Your surgery will be stopped by your surgeon if stitching is not possible. Your surgeon will then wait for the sinus membrane to heal before doing the procedure again.

Acute Maxillary Sinusitis

Acute maxillary sinusitis is depicted by face pain that is localized to the cheek, though it can also affect the teeth or the frontal area. Bending over or straining makes the pain increase. The sinuses may become sore, and there is a risk for both unilateral and bilateral pain. For at least 2 weeks, antibiotics, glucocorticoids, decongestants, and analgesics should be taken to treat maxillary sinusitis. If necessary, cryotherapy can also be applied.