Most often, the insertion of dental implants into the lower jaw is straightforward, especially if there has been no bone loss due to lost teeth. But sometimes the bone in the upper jawbone can be too thin to support an implant. In these cases, a sinus lift procedure can enhance the thickness of the bone to provide the required support.
What is a Sinus Lift Procedure?
We all have maxillary sinuses behind our cheeks and on top of our upper teeth. These sinuses are hollow and the bone that separates the mouth from the sinus cavity is usually very thin.
When you lose a tooth in the upper jaw, it is often extremely difficult to replace it with a dental implant because there is not enough bone present. A sinus lift is surgery that adds bone to your upper jaw in the area of your molars and premolars. It’s sometimes called a sinus augmentation.
The bone is added between your upper jawbone and the maxillary sinuses, which are on either side of your nose. To make room for the bone, the sinus membrane has to be moved upward, or “lifted.” A bone graft is placed under the membrane, which will integrate with the bone in the jaw over several months. Once the graft has healed, dental implants can be placed.
A sinus lift is usually done by a specialist, such as a periodontist or oral surgeon. And they are performed after a thorough evaluation of bone and soft tissue, when it is determined there is a need for more bone to allow for the placement of an upper dental implant.
Dr. Pumphrey will determine if you need a sinus lift procedure during your comprehensive examination. Call our office or click here to complete our request an appointment form. We’ll be happy to help you find the most convenient time for your visit.