Keep Your Teeth and Jaw Healthy with a Sinus Lift
Sinus lift surgery raises the sinus floor to stop the loss of teeth or the spread of disease into your jaw bone. Click here to learn more about the procedure.
Keyword(s): sinus lift
Many people aren’t aware that tooth loss is a common issue in the United States. In fact, at least 13 percent of Americans do not have any teeth at all.
If you’re struggling with tooth loss, there are a number of dental procedures that can help improve your oral health. One of these procedures is a sinus lift.
Never heard of a sinus lift before? Not sure if it’s the right approach for you?
Read on to learn more about this procedure and how it helps to prevent tooth loss.
What is a Sinus Lift?
A sinus lift is a type of dental service that involves adding bone to the upper jaw, specifically the area near the molars and premolars.
During the procedure, bone tissue is added to the area located between the jaw and the maxillary sinuses. These sinuses are on either side of the nose.
To make room for this bone, the sinus membrane must be “lifted,” or moved upward.
This procedure is typically performed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons or periodontists.
Reasons to Consider a Sinus Lift
There are lots of reasons to consider this procedure, especially if you’re dealing with tooth loss. Some reasons people choose this particular approach include:
This procedure works when there is not enough bone height in the upper jaw, or the sinuses are too close to the jaw, for dental implants. There are several reasons for this:
- The patient has lost teeth in the upper jaw and does not have sufficient bone for the dentist to place implants
- The patient has lost bone as a result of severe periodontal disease
- The patient’s tooth has been missing for a long time, and the tooth loss has also contributed to bone loss
- The patient’s maxillary sinus is too close to the upper jaw and doesn’t leave enough room for implants
If any of these situations apply to you, you might be able to benefit from this type of surgery.
Ideal Candidate for Sinus Lift Surgery
Most people who undergo this surgery do so because they lack bone in the upper jaw or have sinuses that sit too close to the upper jaw. But, these are not the only criteria one must meet before they can receive this treatment.
The following people are typically considered to be good candidates for this surgery:
- Those who are in good health
- Those who do not suffer from contraindicated medical conditions like heart disease, osteoporosis, or diabetes
- Those who are well into adulthood or are of advanced age (sinus lifts are not recommended for young patients whose jaws are still maturing)
- Those who do not have severe seasonal allergies
This surgery is also not a good option for people who want their dental issues taken care of right away.
A sinus lift surgery takes several months from start to finish. The wait is definitely worthwhile, but some patients who want a quick fix aren’t happy about the amount of time the procedure takes.
What to Expect from Sinus Lift Surgery
This surgery happens in the following stages:
Before your surgery takes place, you’ll need to decide which type of bone to use. The bone used in this surgery can come from your own body, a cadaver, or even the bone of a cow.
If your dentist is using your own bone, they will need to begin by removing it. That bone can come from another area of the mouth or a different part of the body like the hip or shin bone.
Before the procedure, the dentist will also take x-rays to study your sinus and jaw anatomy. You may also need a CT scan to help the dentist get an accurate idea of the height and width of your bone and the placement of your sinuses.
During the actual procedure, the surgeon will cut back the gum tissue and expose the bone underneath. Then, they will open a small, oval-shaped window in the bone and push away the membrane that lines the sinus and separates it from your jaw.
Once the membrane has been pushed away, the surgeon will pack granules of bone-graft material into that space. Surgeons typically pack several millimeters of one tissue into this area.
Once they place bone-graft material, the dentist will stitch up the gum.
After this, you will need to wait several months (often between four and nine) for the grafted material to mesh with the bone in your jaw. Once the material has meshed, your surgeon will be able to place your tooth implants and restore the missing teeth.
After the Surgery
After your procedure, it’s common to experience swelling. You may also experience some bleeding from your mouth or nose.
It’s important to avoid sneezing or blowing your nose during this period, as that can loosen your stitches or shift the bone-graft material.
Dentists typically recommend using a saline spray to keep the nasal line moist. They may also prescribe medication to prevent inflammation and congestions. They’ll prescribe an antibiotic and antimicrobial mouthwash to minimize the risk of infection after the surgery.
Between seven and ten days after your procedure, you’ll see your dentist again. He or she will evaluate your jaw and remove the stitches (unless you have dissolvable stitches).
You might need to come back in a few more times to ensure everything is healing as it’s supposed to. Your dentist will also use these check-ins to determine when they can place the implants.
Schedule Your Sinus Lift Today
Do you think you could benefit from a sinus lift surgery? Or, are you still on the fence and need some questions answered?
Either way, we’re can help at Summerbrook Dental Group.
At our office, we offer personalized care and a wide range of dental treatments. We’ll never pressure you into any treatments here, and you can rest easy knowing that you’re our number one priority.
Contact us today to learn more about this procedure or to go ahead and schedule your surgery.