In order to receive a dental implant, you must have dense, healthy jawbone. The success of the implant hinges on your jawbone being able to grow around the implant once it is placed. If you are interested in receiving a dental implant, your dentist will determine if you are a candidate for an implant during your consultation appointment. Your consultation will include an examination of your sinuses if this implant is being placed in the upper jaw. This will allow your surgeon to determine whether or not a sinus lift is needed.
Patients who have experienced bone loss may require a bone graft to prevent their implant from failing. This procedure allows patients to receive implants even if their jawbone has lost density or mass and must be done before the implant is placed. Similarly, a sinus lift can increase bone mass in the maxillary, or upper, jaw. Your implant procedure may also require a sinus lift if the sinus floor around the upper jaw is too low. Foregoing a necessary sinus lift can spell failure for implants and unnecessary pain.
Why Do I Need A Sinus Lift?
A sinus lift, or sinus augmentation, is a common bone grafting procedure designed to raise the sinus floor in preparation for placing dental implants. Sinuses that sit too low are at risk of being perforated when a dental implant is placed, and this can cause a number of problems. For example, the implant will be more likely to fail without a sinus lift, as less surface area is in contact with bone. Sinus perforation from a dental implant can also create a path from the oral cavity to the sinuses, creating a greater risk of infection.
The possible complications of a sinus perforation can include:
Receiving a sinus lift can improve your bone density and mitigate the risks of sinus perforation. However, this procedure will add time to dental implant treatment. A dental implant cannot be placed until the sinus lift procedure is completed and the jaw is fully healed.
Sinus Lift Procedure
Because sinus lifts are a bone grafting procedure, we determine the source of your bone grafting material during your consultation. This material can be from yourself, a donor, or made of artificial grafting material.
At Dallas Oral Surgery Associates, patients receive general anesthesia before a sinus augmentation. Once asleep, you will not feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure.
To begin, our surgeon will make an incision in the gums to expose the jawbone underneath. The existing bone beneath the sinus cavity is cut as needed and "lifted" into the sinuses, leaving behind a hollow space. The bone grafting material is then used to fill the space. Once complete, the incision in the gums is stitched closed.
A sinus lift is an outpatient procedure, meaning that you will be able to return home on the day of surgery once the procedure is complete. It generally takes about 24 hours for your anesthesia to fully wear off. During this time, you should not operate a vehicle. All patients receiving general anesthesia will be required to arrange a ride home from the office prior to surgery.
Sinus Lift Recovery
In the first few days, you may notice some swelling, facial tenderness, and bleeding. Pain is typically most severe in the first 72 hours after surgery, but pain can vary on each day of recovery. After 4-8 days, any pain will likely be diminished.
While pain, tenderness, and bleeding are expected, call us immediately if:
Be sure not to blow your nose or sneeze in the first week following your sinus lift. Doing so can potentially dislodge your stitches or the bone grafting material.
During recovery, the bone grafting material will aid in the regrowth of the jawbone. This process can take 4-12 months. If a sinus lift is needed as part of your dental implant treatment, the implant will be placed once the jaw has fully regenerated and healed.
Risks Of A Sinus Lift
As with any oral surgical procedure, a sinus lift comes with inherent risks. These risks are diminished significantly in our office with proper safety, planning, and precision, but we think it best to prepare patients for any potential complications before the procedure.
Some long-term side effects can include:
Some pre-existing habits and conditions can also affect the severity of these complications. Patients with diabetes or compromised immunity may be more likely to have complications. Side effects are also more common in patients who regularly smoke or fail to maintain proper dental hygiene after their procedure. Sinus lifts are a common procedure in our office, and while long-term complications are not common, they can happen.
Want to learn more about sinus augmentation and its benefits? Are you interested in receiving dental implants but are unsure if you need a sinus lift? Our team can answer your questions or help you schedule a consultation at 214-363-9946. With a dedicated surgical facility, an experienced team, and precision ensured by state-of-the-art technology, we are committed to providing all of our patients with the safety, results, and confidence you deserve.