Sinuses are air-filled cavities in the bones of your skull. Your maxillary sinuses are one of the five pairs of sinus cavities located in the cheekbones just between your teeth and your eye sockets.
When you lose your upper back teeth the maxillary sinus cavity has a tendency to expand and drop down into the jawbone in the area of the missing teeth. Sometimes even when the teeth are still present, there is not enough height of bone between the gum and sinus floor to allow the implant to be placed. A sinus lift is performed to lift the maxillary sinus to make room for the implant.
When is a sinus lift performed?
A sinus lift is performed when there is insufficient bone in the upper jaw due to bone loss, or when the sinus has expanded too close to the area where the implant needs to be placed. This advanced procedure enables Dr. Lee to surgically lift up the floor of the sinus cavity by using bone grafting techniques to build up the bone. A sinus lift is also called a sinus augmentation.
Not all patients with a lowered sinus will need a sinus lift. Certain types of implants or ways of placing the implant can avoid the necessity of getting one. Dr. Lee evaluates each patient to establish the solution that best fits him or her.Back to the top
How is the sinus lift performed?
The sinus can be lifted using various techniques, all centered on augmenting the amount of bone in the area. A common technique that Dr. Lee uses is to add bone graft material into the lower part of the expanded sinus cavity. The bone graft stimulates the jawbone to regenerate new bone.
If there is enough bone present to stabilize the implants, the sinus lift procedure can be done at the same time as the implant placement. If not, the sinus lift will be done as a preliminary surgery in order to effectively prepare the bone for implant placement.
Your sinus augmentation will need time to heal. This generally takes from four to six months. During this time the graft(s) will fuse with your existing bone, which will then allow the implant to be placed by Dr. Lee.