A sinus lift is a surgical procedure designed to make it easier to place dental implants. In some cases, patients may be in need of dental implants but won’t have enough of the bone support necessary to safely do so. Sinus lifts can help by increasing the amount of bone in the upper jaw by adding space between the molars and the premolars. In order to do this, the sinus membrane is lifted upward to make room for the bone.
We may recommend a sinus lift if you are in need of dental implants, but don’t have enough bone in the upper jaw with which to support them. Bone loss is a fairly common occurrence, especially as we age, and can be exacerbated by gum disease and the loss of a tooth or teeth.
Once the anaesthetic has been administered and taken effect, we’ll cut into the gum, creating a ‘window’ in the jawbone through to the sinus membrane. New bone material will be placed here between the jaw and the membrane and in some cases, we may add a collagen membrane to help secure it in position. We’ll then close up the window with stitches. We will then need to wait 6 months for the new bone to mature before proceeding with the placement of dental implants.
You should expect to experience some swelling in the area and you may even have bleeding from the nose and mouth. It’s also likely that, once the anaesthetic has worn off, you’ll have some pain in the area, for which we would recommend over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.
After a week, you’ll come back in to have your stitches removed, and we’ll be able to examine your progress and make sure everything is healing as it should. It usually takes between four and nine months for the bone graft to fully fuse with the jawbone, at which point we’ll be able to apply your dental implants.