Sinus lifting surgery
Sinus lifting surgery is a procedure to add bone mass into the upper jawbone to ensure successful implantation of dental implants to replace back molars. Sinus augmentation involves lifting the sinus membrane into the sinus cavity to make room for a bone graft in the jawbone. Sinus lift surgery is performed by a maxillofacial surgeon.
The Right Candidates
Patients who require dental implants if there is not enough jawbone or if the sinuses are too close to the jawbone for the implants to be inserted. The jawbone may be insufficient to support implants due to bone re-absorption following tooth loss or tooth extraction, the structure of the jawbone or bone loss caused by gum disease.
Risks and Side Effects
Sinus augmentation surgeries carry the risk of puncturing the sinus membrane. If the sinus membrane is thin and tears during the procedure the surgeon will seal the puncture and the sinus augmentation procedure may be postponed until the tear heals. All dental surgeries carry the risk of infection and antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent this. A rare complication of sinus augmentation is failure of the bone graft.
Sinus lift procedures involve lifting the sinus membranes and inserting a bone graft into the upper jaw to increase the depth of the jawbone. The surgeon make an incision in the gum line of the upper jaw and pull the gum back to reveal the jawbone near the back molars. A section of this bone is cut to make a hinge that is used to push the sinus membrane into the sinus cavity. The empty space remaining where the sinus membrane was is then filled with a bone graft. The dental implant can then be placed into the extra bone mass.
Sinus augmentation procedures are completed in 1-2 hours depending on the amount of grafted bone that is added.
Making the access to the sinus
Lifting the sinus membrane
Applying bone graft materials
Fillings the empty cavities with bone graft materials
Applying the artificial membrane
The membrane will hold bone graft materials inplace
Closing the flap
Waiting for the graft to heal
It takes up to 6 months for healing
The graft become solid to support the implant
Patients are anaesthetized for sinus augmentation procedures. Following the procedure the nose and upper jaw may be sore as the swelling subsides.
Immediately following surgery there may be some bleeding slight swelling along the upper gum line and nose. This will stop a few hours after surgery and swelling will reduce within a week. The sutures used to seal the incisions will be removed 7 days post-surgery.
The surgeon will occasionally insert dental implants into the jaw bone at the same time as the sinus lifting procedure, depending on the condition of individual jawbone. However, it is usually recommended that dental patients wait for the bone graft to fuse to the original jawbone before the implants are inserted. Fusion of the bone graft and the jaw bone can take up to 6 months.