Victoriapark Dental

Definition: Sinus Lift

Sinus augmentation, also known as a "sinus lift", is a surgery done to add bone to your sinus area. This sinus area is air-filled cavities that are located on top of your molars.

A sinus lift is a beneficial treatment if the bone in your upper jaw is limited and your sinuses are too close to your jaw. During the procedure, the membrane in your sinus is gently lifted to provide enough room to grow and increase your bone level in your jaw to normal. Patients that require this treatment are usually those who are missing molars or back teeth and require implants. Dental implants in this area require a certain amount of bone foundation in order to be successful.

How is a sinus lift done?

Where the missing back teeth should be located, the surgeon will make a small incision in your gum to expose the bone. A small opening is made in the bone and the membrane lining in the sinus is lifted away from the jaw. A material to grow or "graft" new bone is placed in the space now available. The gums are returned to their original position and stitched up.

Following the procedure you may have some bleeding or swelling. Antibiotics or special mouthwash will be provided by the surgeon as well as specific instructions on how to avoid inflammation or congestion. After a week to 10 days you will return to the surgeon to have a look at the area and remove any undissolved stitches.

Healing may occur in only a matter of days, however, in order to have implants placed by the dentist, the bone graft material must first completely harden and attach to your jaw, and this can take anywhere from 4-9 months.

How do I know if I need a sinus lift?

Patients who require a sinus lift procedure may have:

  • Multiple missing back upper teeth
  • Experience bone loss in the upper back jaw
  • Missing back teeth from time of birth or genetics
  • Missing most of the upper teeth and jaw needs enhacement to install dental implants

Are there risks?

As with all surgeries, there can be risks. One of the greatest risks of having this procedure is a punctured sinus membrane. This can be repaired during the actual lift treatment or your surgeon may decide to stop the procedure and allow the area to heal first. Infections are always a risk in any surgery, but are rare in this procedure. Some cases have occurred where a bone graft will not attach to the jaw, making implants impossible, however, if that is the case, a sinus lift may be attempted a second time.

If any of the following symptoms occur after your procedure, contact your surgeon immediately:

  • Pain or swelling that increases or doesn't subside
  • Bleeding that continues and gets worse or doesn't subside
  • You have a fever
  • If you sense that the bone graft material may have moved
  • Your stitches have loosened
Sinus Lift Steps


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