What’s the old saying – A picture is worth a thousand words? Sometimes the only way we can truly understand something is to get a visual. If you are scheduled for a sinus lift procedure, this article should help you understand exactly what that will entail.
What is a Sinus Lift?
A sinus lift, also known as sinus augmentation, is a surgical procedure where the sinus sack is lifted and bone grafting material is placed underneath in the open space. The sinus, which is like a balloon, will then rest in the proper position on the new bone graft. This procedure is in preparation for a dental implant when the bone under the sinus cavity has become too thin to hold an implant.
How Has the Bone Gotten Thin?
The bone could have become damaged initially from periodontal disease or from trauma. But then, as the sinus inflates and deflates with breathing, it can put pressure on the already compromised bone causing it to deteriorate at an even faster rate. If the bone is too weak or thin, a dental implant won’t have enough bone in which to be anchored. Obviously, because the sinus is part of the nasal cavity, this procedure is only needed on the upper jaw.
What Happens During the Procedure?
As you can see in the image above, the first thing the doctor will do is access the drooping sinus. The doctor can access the sinus through the bottom of the gum where the implant will eventually be placed, or he can access the sinus through the side of the gum line. He then carefully lifts the sinus membrane to its proper position. The next step is to fill the open space with bone grafting material. Now it’s your body’s turn to do some healing and bone regeneration! The bone graft will actually stimulate new bone growth. Once the bone graft has been assimilated into the body, which takes 3-4 months, a dental implant can be anchored into the new bone. The doctor will top this all off with a beautiful, natural-looking crown!
If you have more questions, please feel free to contact us! We are more than happy to answer any concerns you may have or give you further clarification on this procedure.