A sinus lift surgery is a procedure that adds bone mass to your upper jaw, targeting the area of your molars and premolars. It’s also called a sinus augmentation. During the procedure, the bone is added between the jaw and maxillary sinuses which are on either side of the nose. In order to make room for the bone, the sinus membrane needs to be lifted by a specialist: either an oral or maxillofacial surgeon in most cases.
These maxillary sinuses are empty spaces filled only with air. Some of the roots of your natural upper teeth extend into that space. Once the teeth are removed, all that’s left is a thin wall of bone separating the maxillary sinus and the mouth. Because dental implants require sufficient bone mass to hold them in place, it’s not possible to place dental implants into this bone.
Besides the natural thinness of the bone, there are other reasons why there may not be enough bone mass to place implants in that region:
- The bone mass may have been lost because of periodontal or gum disease
- Tooth loss can contribute to bone loss, as the bone begins to be absorbed back into the body once a tooth is lost.
- The maxillary sinus may be too close to the upper jaw to place implants. This varies from person to person, and the sinus can get larger as you age.
A sinus lift is one of the most common bone grafting procedures for patients with bone loss in the upper jaw region. The procedure grows the bone, strengthening it enough to place a dental implant.
Who Is a Candidate for the Sinus Lift Procedure?
Sinus lifts might be necessary if:
- You are missing more than one tooth in the area near the back of your jaw
- You are missing a significant amount of bone in the back of your jaw
- You are missing any teeth because of a birth defect or condition
- You are missing most of the maxillary teeth, but you need the support for dental implants
The Sinus Lift Procedure
The most common procedure involves making a small incision in the premolar or molar region to expose the jawbone. Using a small opening cut into the bone, the membrane lining the sinus is lifted upward and the exposed space is filled with bone grafting material. That can come from your own body, or from a cadaver. In some cases, synthetic materials can be used. After the bone is implanted, the incision is stitched up and the body is left to heal itself. If enough bone in the region is available, the sinus lift and the implant placement can be done in a single procedure. Otherwise, they’ll have to be performed separately. Sinus lifts are usually performed at Dr. Shahriari’s office under local anesthesia.
Dr. Shahriari uses this cutting-edge technology to elevate the sinus floor using neurosurgical drills. This technique is used to prevent the sinus floor from tearing which is very common. Dr. Shahriari teaches this technique to other doctors around the world.
For more information about sinus lifts, or to schedule an appointment, please contact us online or call us at 404-649-5536 to reach our Cumming location, or 404-491-8943 to reach our Buckhead location.
Benefits Of A Sinus Lift
The benefit of a sinus lift is that it allows you to get a dental implant in an area that otherwise would be unsuitable for treatment. Sinus lifts are needed if you want a dental implant in your upper jaw, but your natural bone is too weak to accommodate an implant.
With a sinus lift, Dr. Abtin Shahriari can rebuild your bone tissue with a bone graft and move your sinus lining. Then, you’ll be able to get a dental implant and enjoy the benefits of permanent tooth restoration. Dental implants look, feel, and function naturally, and last 30+ years. They also help preserve and protect your remaining jaw bone, unlike other treatments like dentures and dental bridges.
So if you’re interested in dental implants in Cumming, GA, but your jaw bone is weak and may not be able to handle an implant, a sinus lift from Greater Atlanta Oral Facial Surgery may be just what you need. To see if sinus lifts are right for you, just contact us online to schedule a consultation with Dr. Shahriari.
Sinus Lift Aftercare – What To Expect
Initial surgical recovery will typically take about 1-2 weeks, but it will be at least 4 weeks before you’re able to get back to your normal routine and do things like blow your nose. It may take up to 3-6 months for the bone graft to heal completely, and become strong enough to accommodate a dental implant.
Dr. Shahriari will give you a full list of instructions to follow during your recovery process. One of the most important things you need to do is to avoid putting any pressure on your sinuses as you heal. You must avoid blowing your nose for at least 4 weeks. Blowing your nose could cause your sinus lift to fail, since it puts a lot of pressure on your nose.
You can still sneeze if you have to, but you must sneeze with your mouth open. Sneezing with your mouth closed could also damage your sinuses. You should also avoid using straws and spitting forcefully.
Other activities that could put pressure on your sinuses should also be avoided, like flying in pressurized aircraft or scuba diving. Don’t blow up balloons, play brass or woodwind musical instruments, smoke, or do anything else that requires a “blowing” action. You must avoid these things for at least 4 weeks, or until Dr. Shahriari says it’s safe to resume these activities.
Beyond this, you’ll want to rinse your mouth with salt water the day after your procedure. Mix a half-teaspoon of salt into 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse up to 4-5 times per day. You can brush your other teeth normally, but should not brush the sinus lift site for at least 48-72 hours.
You may also want to eat a diet of mostly soft foods for a few days, and avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where you got your sinus lift. This will help reduce pain and discomfort as you heal from your surgery.