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Hawaii Pacific Dental Group, Inc.

Sinus Lift before Dental Implant Surgery

By Dr. Rohinton J. Patel on April 26, 2018

Digital image comparing the jawbone before and after sinus liftDental implants are currently considered the most durable, predictable, and long-lasting teeth-replacement option. Before dental implants can be placed within the jaw, your doctor must make sure there is healthy, dense bone tissue available. In some cases, patients may require a preparatory procedure before implants can be surgically placed. 

At Hawaii Pacific Dental Group in Hawaii Kai in East Honolulu, HI, we can perform these preliminary procedures to increase patients’ eligibility for implants. Here, we discuss how a sinus lift before dental implant surgery can properly prepare your upper jaw for long-term success.

What Is a Sinus Lift?

Whenever the upper jawbone is deficient in density or volume, a sinus lift can be performed to graft bone in the premolar and molar areas. During this procedure, the sinus membrane is raised back into its proper position, and additional bone is placed underneath. 

When Is a Sinus Lift Necessary?

A sinus lift is typically performed whenever there is inadequate jawbone to accommodate a dental implant. The most common scenario for a sinus lift is when the upper teeth have been missing for a prolonged period of time. 

Once the tooth roots are gone, the sinus membrane can drop down. If implants are placed, the sinus membrane will need to be moved back up to its original position. 

You may also require a sinus lift prior to implants if:

  • Previous trauma has damaged the jawbone
  • You previously underwent a particularly difficult extraction
  • You have bone loss due to gum disease
  • A tumor or cyst was removed from the area
  • You naturally have thin jawbone

What to Expect during Treatment

In order to perform a sinus lift procedure, your doctor will make an incision in the gums to access the jawbone. Next, a window will be created in the bone so that the sinus membrane can be visualized. 

Your doctor will carefully move the sinus membrane upwards using specialized instruments. Once this is complete, the empty space underneath will be filled with a bone grafting material (obtained from either another part of your jaw or a bone and tissue bank). Finally, the gums are closed with stitches. 

Although this procedure is complex, advanced techniques allow our doctor to perform sinus lifts with minimal post-operative discomfort. 

Healing and Recovery

Due to the nature of the procedure, you will probably experience some degree of swelling following your sinus lift. Some patients will notice bruising as well. As with any surgical procedure, you may experience slight discomfort. However, most patients find that any tenderness can be appropriately managed with over-the-counter pain relievers. 

Once your sinus lift is complete, several months of healing will be required before the dental implants can be placed. Although this adds to the length of your total timeline, most patients agree that the numerous advantages of implants make it well worth the wait.

Contact Us to Learn More

Have you previously been told you do not qualify for dental implants due to bone loss? There may be a way to increase your candidacy. To learn more about bone grafting, sinus lifts, or any of our other services, reach out to a team member. As always, we are available to answer any questions you may have about potential treatment. You can contact us online anytime or call us at (808) 955-0008.

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