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Sinus Lift Surgery

What is Sinus Lift Surgery?

Sinus lift surgery, or maxillary sinus floor augmentation, is a surgical procedure to increase the amount of bone in the sinus cavity at the upper back part of the jaw. The strength and integrity of a dental implant depend on the quality and quantity of bone used to anchor the implant. Some people don’t have enough natural bone between the teeth and the sinus to support a dental implant. The sinus lift surgery allows a dental implant to be supported by a bone graft in the back of the jaw.  But, a sinus lift implant is a sinus lift via a vertical approach or a vertical sinus lift. The term sinus lift implant is often exchanged with sinus lift surgery. Where the sinus lift is necessary to get a dental implant done.

How Do I Know if I Need Sinus Lift Surgery?

You may need a sinus lift if you are hoping to get a dental implant and are:

  • Missing multiple teeth towards the back of the jaw.
  • Missing a significant amount of bone in the back of your jaw.
  • Missing teeth due to a birth defect or condition.
  • Missing most of your top teeth and need to support dental implants.

How To Prepare

Before a sinus lift surgery, an evaluation and overview with Dr. Kim will be discussed to prepare for the procedure…

  • A comprehensive dental exam will be done including dental X-rays taken and models made of your teeth and mouth. You also may need a special type of computed tomography (CT) scan, that will allow the dentist to accurately measure the height and width of your existing bone to evaluate the health of your teeth and jaw bone.
  • Treatment plan. 212 Smiling will tailor a treatment plan to account all factors of the procedure.  If the surgery is invasive we will take into account the factors and the procedure with a timely thought out plan.  This will include a walkthrough of the procedure, a step by sept treatment guide and a follow up an appointment if needed.

Make sure to tell your doctor about any medical conditions and any medications you take, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs and supplements. If you have heart conditions or orthopedic implants, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics before surgery to help prevent infection.

Anesthesia may be used to control the pain during your procedure. The 212 Smiling team will instruct you about eating and drinking before surgery, depending on the type of anesthesia. If general anesthesia is used, someone will have to assist you home after surgery and expect to rest for the day.

What is the Procedure for a Sinus Lift?

There are two different methods of sinus lifts, depending on the amount of viable bone and location of the lift. The two types are:

Vertical Sinus Lift

A vertical sinus lift is a minor lift done at the same time as the dental implant placement.  The implant is placed through the prepared area where the implant will go in. With all aspects of the procedure going in the same “direction”, this method is a smaller procedure compared to a lateral sinus lift.

Lateral Sinus Lift

A lateral sinus lift is a larger lift grafting procedure. In this procedure, the tissue is removed to allow access to the maxillary sinus. The membrane around the sinus is lifted and bone is placed under this membrane “lifting” it and regenerating bone needed to place a dental implant.  Sometimes an implant placement can be done at the same time as a lateral sinus lift and sometimes it can’t be based on the complexity of the surgical area.

After The Procedure

After a sinus lift surgery, you may experience some of the typical discomforts associated with any type of dental procedure, such as:

  • Minor bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Pain or discomfort

If swelling, discomfort or any other problem gets worse after surgery, contact your dentist as you may need pain medications or antibiotics.  You may need to eat soft foods while the procedure site heals. Typically, your dental surgeon or dentist will use stitches, if invasive, that dissolve on their own, but if not your dental surgeon or dentist will have to remove them.

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