Dental implants are a long-lasting, natural-looking, and aesthetically pleasing option for replacing broken, decaying, or missing teeth. Part of what gives implants their durability is the quality of the jaw bone where they are placed. If you are having an implant placed in the back of your upper jaw, your doctor may need to perform a sinus lift to create a strong foundation for the new tooth.
The specialists of Capital Center® for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery are experts in the full range of dental implant procedures, including sinus lift. By using this advanced technique for our patients, our doctors encourage close integration with the implant and the jaw bone.
An Overview of the Sinus Lift Procedure
The sinuses are air-filled spaces within the skull. Because of the proximity of the sinus to the upper jaw, there may not be enough bone to provide a strong foundation for a dental implant. Tooth loss and periodontal disease can cause further bone loss in the area.
A sinus lift adds bone in the area of the sinus. The amount and quality of your existing bone will determine the technique that your doctor uses in the procedure. The two most common techniques we utilize are a sinus elevation and a lateral lift.
For patients with adequate bone volume, our doctors can perform a sinus elevation, which is a less invasive approach to sinus lift. We use advanced medical instruments from VERSAH® to push the bone gently upward. Then, we leverage X-Guide™ technology to place implants in an extremely accurate manner. This precision allows us to combine the sinus lift and implant placement into a single procedure.
Lateral Sinus Lift
Many of our patients have little-to-no bone left in the area where they require an implant. Our doctors can reconstruct the site through an incision in the back of the jaw. We frequently use piezo-surgical instruments to conduct the procedure with gentle, ultrasonic vibrations.
What Patients Can Expect With a Sinus Lift
From your first visit to your final follow-up, our staff will endeavor to make your experience as comfortable and supportive as possible.
Visit with a specialist at our office to discuss tooth restoration with dental implants. During your appointment, a thorough examination and take CT scans will be done to determine the capacity of your existing bone to support an implant.
Based on this evaluation, your doctor may advise that you have a sinus lift procedure. The doctor may recommend a sinus elevation or a lateral lift depending on the quality and volume of the bone in your jaw. Our practice will help you understand your options, explain the process, and answer any questions you may have.
Capital Center for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery hosts patients for treatment in its own AAAHC-compliant facility. With a sinus elevation:
- Treatment is gentle enough that you can opt to receive only local anesthetic.
- Your doctor can place your dental implant in the same surgical session as the sinus lift.
With a lateral sinus lift, you will typically receive IV sedation. Generally, you will wait four months after the sinus lift to receive your dental implant. This allows the site time to heal properly.
Your recovery will depend on the technique that your doctor uses. A sinus elevation is a minimally invasive procedure that does not require incisions. As such, there is little-to-no discomfort afterwards, though you may prefer to take over-the-counter pain medication or medications prescribed by our practice.
Following a lateral sinus lift, you will likely have sensitivity and swelling at the surgical site. Patients report symptoms similar to having their wisdom teeth removed. Your doctor can provide you with guidance and medication to manage discomfort as you heal.
You can return to your normal activities shortly after your procedure, though there will be certain limitations. For example, you shouldn’t blow your nose or exert other force that could injure the surgical site. Some patients will have sutures that their doctor will remove in a follow-up appointment two weeks after the surgery. Our staff will be available to you at every stage of your experience to promote your comfort and assist in your recovery.
Find out more about sinus lift procedures for dental implants. Contact Capital Center for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery online or by phone at (202) 386-7100.