This is a question I am often asked by my patients when discussing the need for bone grafts in the upper jaw (the maxilla) in or near the sinus. Frequently patients will need a bone graft that is put into the maxillary sinus. The technical term for these bone grafts is a sinus elevation.

Do Dental Implants Cause Sinus Infections?

There are many articles in the dental literature that show the long term safety of these procedures. A recent article in the medical literature caught my eye:

A group of ear, nose and throat surgeons in Switzerland recently published an article on the subject in the medical journal Laryngoscope. This long term retrospective study included 70 patients from 1989 to 2007. All the patient had sinus elevation surgery. A total of 83 dental implants were included in their review. The average time they were followed was ten years.

All the implants integrated and all extended up into the sinus at least 3mm. None of the patients developed any sinus problems over this extended period of time.

This is a nice study because it shows that putting bone or dental implants into the maxillary sinus is safe and effective. If you would like to look at the article here is the reference:

Laryngoscope. 2013 Dec;123(12):2958-61. doi: 10.1002/lary.24189. Epub 2013 Oct 2.

-Dr. Emery

For more information on dental implants and bone grafts, contact our office in the Washington, DC area at (202) 386-7100.