If you have been told that you need a sinus lift before getting dental implants, there is no need to worry. A sinus lift procedure, also called sinus augmentation, is very common. It is designed to add height to the bone in the area between the molars and premolars. A bone graft will be performed in this area, adding bone between the jaw and sinus in cases where there is insufficient upper jawbone structure to support a dental implant.
Why A Sinus Lift?
Sinus lifts are used when placing dental implants to replace the upper back teeth or molars. This type of graft is necessary if bone has been lost due to disease or simply because of the skull anatomy, as there is typically less bone in the upper jaw compared to the lower jaw.
You can rest assured that your sinus lift procedure will be conducted in the most precise way, using the highly advanced technology of a cone beam scan. Cone beam scanning is an in-office 3D CAT scan system that allows the surgeon to accurately measure the width and the height of the bone and the detailed relationship of the jawbone and sinus cavity. This technology reveals the specific amount of bone available for dental implant placement, which determines whether or not you may need a bone graft or sinus lift.
A small window is made in the back wall of the maxillary sinus with special burrs. These burrs are designed to safely cut a window in bone without damaging the underlying tissue or sinus membrane. The sinus membrane is then carefully lifted. Typically, a resorbable collagen membrane is placed in the sinus against the sinus membrane to protect it while bone graft material is placed on top of the sinus floor.
There are several types of bone graft materials that can be used, including autogenous bone (the patient’s own bone), allogenic bone (freeze-dried cadaver bone), bovine bone (cow bone), and BMP (bone morphogentic protein). Your implant dentist will decide which is best for you.
In many cases, your sinus graft can be performed at the same time as your dental implants. However, there are situations where the sinus graft needs to heal before implant surgery. Dr. Wayne Suway is distinguished in the field of implant dentistry and he is more than happy to answer your questions surrounding sinus lift procedures for dental implants.