Will You Need a Sinus Lift Before Getting Dental Implants?

February 15, 2024

Filed under: Other Topics — Dr. Steve Koo @ 11:40 am
Illustration of dental implant in upper jaw after sinus lift

Dental implants are the best form of tooth replacement, but the treatment process can be complex in some cases. In fact, some patients are not eligible for dental implants until after they undergo one or more preliminary procedures, such as a sinus lift. What exactly is a sinus lift, and how can you know if you will need one before you rebuild your lost dentition? This blog post provides relevant information.

What Is a Sinus Lift?

Sinus lift surgery goes by a few different names. It may be referred to as sinus augmentation or maxillary sinus floor augmentation. Regardless of what you call it, this procedure is essentially a special type of bone graft.

During a sinus lift, an oral surgeon carefully accesses the sinus membrane through the upper jaw. Then, they gently push the membrane upward and insert a bone graft beneath it in order to keep it in its new position.

The primary purpose of a sinus lift is to ensure that the upper jawbone is deep enough and strong enough to support dental implants. Without it, there is a chance that an implant could puncture the sinus membrane and cause complications.

Reasons for a Sinus Lift

Before you receive dental implants, you will attend a consultation with your oral surgeon. With the help of advanced imaging equipment, such as a CBCT machine, they can determine if your bone structure is able to safely accommodate dental implants. If your jawbone is not able to support your new tooth roots, you may be told that you need a sinus lift.

There are a number of reasons why your upper jaw might not be large enough for implants:

  • You have a naturally thin or weak jaw.
  • You have lost some bone density and volume due to past surgeries or injuries.
  • You have had advanced gum disease in the past that damaged your jawbone.
  • You lost your teeth a while ago, and without your tooth roots to stimulate your jaw, the bone has gradually deteriorated.

What to Expect from a Sinus Lift

If you learn that you need a sinus lift, there is nothing to worry about. Thanks to advanced surgical techniques and sedation, you can expect a comfortable surgical experience. After your appointment, some soreness is to be expected. Your surgeon will give you post-op instructions to facilitate a complication-free recovery. For example, you might need to modify your diet and take certain medications.

In most cases, it is possible to place dental implants 4 – 9 months after a sinus lift.

A sinus lift might seem like an inconvenience on your path to tooth replacement, but it can play a vital role in helping you to enjoy a strong and healthy smile!

Meet the Practice

Drs. Steve Koo, Thomas Weil, and William Shepard are the three talented oral surgeons at Piney Point Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. They are able to perform sinus lifts and other advanced procedures. If you are interested in getting dental implants, they would be happy to design a personalized treatment plan for you. Contact our Houston office at 713-783-5560.

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