Sinus lift procedure is often used when there is insufficient bone available to secure a dental implant to replace upper missing teeth.
There are two common methods of sinus lift procedure:
- Traditional method An incision is made in the gum tissue, directly above the site of the new implant to expose the bone near the cheek. A small square is cut in the bone and is gently pushed upwards in to the sinus cavity. This action will raise the sinus membrane and lift the sinus floor. The new space below the sinus floor is filled with bone graft material, the gum tissue replaced and then stitched. In time, the bone graft material will form new bone tissue which will increase the bone mass around the area to receive an implant.
- Internal Sinus Lift method This method is used when less extra bone is required. It is less invasive and can usually be carried out at the same time the dental implant is placed. The internal sinus lift method uses the same opening that is used for placing the dental implant. An indentation on the bone is created using an osteotome (an instrument for cutting or preparing bone) A sinus lift osteotome is then placed into the socket and the sinus floor is gently pushed up. It is then pushed further to lift the sinus membrane to create the desired height for the dental implant. The necessary amount of bone graft material is placed in the area.
A dental implant can be placed immediately after this method of sinus lift bone grafting. Minor swelling and discomfort cannot be ruled out after any sinus lift procedure which can be remedied with regular pain killers. A follow up visit will be necessary to remove the stitches. A significant risk for sinus lift procedures is sneezing which can cause the bone graft material to change position. For this reason, sinus lift procedure should not be scheduled during times of hayfever or other allergy.