Dental implants are becoming an increasingly popular treatment option for people who have one or more missing teeth. Before getting dental implants, a professional dentist needs to determine if implants are the right course of treatment for a patient. The dentist has to check if the patient requires additional treatment before placing an implant. One of the treatments one may require is a sinus lift.
What Is a Sinus Lift?
Sinus lift or technically referred to as maxillary sinus floor augmentation is a dental surgical procedure which grafts bone to the upper jaw at the position of the premolar and molar teeth. During the procedure, the maxillary sinus membrane is lifted up to create space for additional bone. Even after suffering bone loss, one can still get tooth implants through this treatment.
Reasons that a dentist may recommend a sinus lift before a dental implant include:
Tooth Decay Damaged The Jawbone
Leaving a severely decayed tooth attached into the bone can cause the decay to spread to the bone. This weakens the bone and a dentist has to reinforce it before placing an implant. A sinus lift is highly recommended in such a situation and can be beneficial.
Tooth Loss Occurred a Long While Ago
Teeth act as a support system to the jawbone. When someone loses a tooth the roots that give the bone support no longer exist and so the bone loses its support. After some time, the bone starts to deteriorate. If a tooth loss occurs a long while ago, the distance between the sinus and the jawbone shifts. If you are seeking a dental implant due to a tooth loss that occurred a log while ago, your dentist may recommend a sinus lift first.
Maxillary Sinus is Too Close To Upper Jaw
To get implants in the upper jaw, a patient has to have sufficient bone density. Having a maxillary sinus too close to the upper jaw could risk an implant penetrating it. A sinus lift is done in order to reinforce and add bone density so that there is enough space where the implant will sit.
Other reasons why you may need sinus lift surgery before getting dental implants include:
- If you have a damaged jawbone due to a difficult extraction or as a result of a trauma
- If a tumor or cyst has been removed from the area
- If you naturally have a thin jaw bone or a large sinus cavity
- If you have suffered bone loss due to periodontitis
Placing Implants After a Sinus Lift Surgery
After a sinus lift surgery, a patient has to wait for 4-9 months before a dental implant surgery can be done. This time is enough to allow the bone to fuse in its new position. How long a patient has to wait depends on the type of material used. Being advised to get a sinus lift before getting implants may be daunting and one may prefer to get their implants placed sooner rather than later, but having this treatment first is likely to have the best results. It is a common and safe procedure.