The decision to get a sinus lift may depend on the condition of the upper jaw bone and its ability to accept dental implants. The closeness of a potential implant area to the sinus and the possible loss of bone or teeth over the years make the use of dental implants inadvisable without a sinus lift.

Back molars in the upper jaw usually create the most significant concern for implants. Medical science allows a dentist to obtain bone from another area of your body to build up the weak area in your jaw. The procedure lifts the sinus membrane upward to make room for the bone replacement.

Overview of this article

Overviewing the Sinus Lift Procedure

A first step in the procedure requires the surgeon to cut the gum tissue and expose the bone. The sinus membrane needs a gentle push to move it away from the jaw to allow bone access. A small window in the bone opens a space for the doctor to place several millimeters of bone-graft material.

The procedure ends with stitches that close the operation, beginning a healing period of many months. The bone’s height helps determine whether the surgeon can use a direct or indirect technique; the direct method involves more surgical procedures.

Considering the Risk and Complications

The primary risk that sinus lift patients encounter results from a puncture or tear to the membrane during the procedure. The surgeon may stitch it up, patch it or discontinue the process.

When the area heals in a few months, another surgery can probably produce successful results. However, an infection may occur as in any surgical procedure, but it happens only rarely.

In some cases, the existing bone does not accept the graft material, and you may need to start the process again. Doctors regard a sinus lift as a safe procedure, but complications such as pansinusitis and spreading infection can occur.

Evaluating the Need

Evaluating the Need

The loss of molars in the upper jaw can create a need for a sinus lift. The anatomy of the skull may cause the upper jaw to have smaller bones than the lower, or periodontal disease may have decreased its size. Tooth loss can allow the bone to shrink as the body absorbs it. The size of the sinus varies and tends to get larger with age, decreasing the space available for dental implants. Each condition that diminishes the quality and quantity of bone can increase the need for a sinus lift.

Modern dentistry offers advancements that make tooth replacement possible. The loss of one or many teeth sets in motion a process that can allow the jaw bone to reduce in size, complicating the repair that can restore normal function. Gum disease, age and tooth damage can create the need for a sinus lift, and the consequences of doing nothing tend to increase with time. You know that the condition does not improve unless you decide to talk to your dentist about your options.