Procedure

Sinus Lift- Dentistry

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A sinus lift is a medical procedure that adds a bone to your upper jaw in the molar and premolar areas. It is sometimes known as sinus expansion and in this procedure, the sinus membrane is lifted upward to add a more pleasing appearance to the face.

The gum tissue that is located at the back of the teeth will be cut by your surgeon. It will be lifted to  expose the bones. After this, your surgeon will make a small open window in the bone. A membrane lining will be carefully lifted up and pushed away from your jaw.

Why is sinus lift required?

A sinus lift is beneficial for:

  • Individuals who don’t have teeth in the front upper area of the jaw
  • Patients who have lost bones due to a severe periodontal (gum) disease
  • People who have lost their teeth for a long time
  • The maxillary sinus may be too close to the upper jaw for implants to be placed

Which doctor to consult?

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon or a periodontist are the doctors who will perform a sinus lift. They will explain you about the surgery, its risks and complications as well as post-operative care.

What to expect during the procedure

Granules of bone-graft material will fill the area where the sinus needs to be lifted. The amount of bone may vary on how much a person needs, but usually, many millimeters of bone is needed for the area above the jaw.

Your surgeon will need bones to start your sinus lift procedure. The bones will usually come from your own body, from a dead person’s body or from cow bones.

X-rays and CT scans are required before a procedure. An x-ray will identify the anatomy of your sinuses and jaw. A CT scan is needed to visualize the height and width of your existing bones and the overall health of your sinuses.

If patients have allergies, doctors will usually schedule them for the operation at the time when they no longer have active allergies.

After the procedure, do not forcefully sneeze or blow your nose. Saline sprays will be recommended by your doctor to keep the nose wet. Additionally, some drugs will be required to avoid congestion and inflammation. Antibiotics and antimicrobial mouthwashes may also be given to prevent infection.

After one week, you need to have follow-up checkup with your doctor to carefully examine the surgical area if it’s completely healed and also to remove stitches.

Post-operative care

Sutures help tissues close. A lot of time is needed to heal and to wait for the material to mesh with your bone. Implants will be placed for about 4-9 months duration until the site is completely healed.

Complications

Some minor complications may occur after the procedure. Rarely, infection will happen but it will be treated by antibiotics.

If the sinus membrane becomes punctured or torn, your surgeon will make a patch over it or stitch the sinus tear. But if these two will not be able to stop problems, surgeons will stop and wait for a few months to redo the procedure.

Another complication of a sinus lift is that existing bone may not integrate with the bony graft material. If this happens, another procedure may be required.

References

  • Periodontology, A. (2019). Sinus Lift Surgery | Perio.org. Retrieved from https://www.perio.org/consumer/sinus-augmentation
  • Sinus Lift Surgery - Sinus Augmentation | Colgate. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/implants/sinus-lift
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