A sinus lift is a surgical procedure carried out by an oral surgeon to increase the amount of bone in the posterior maxillae (upper jaw) A sinus lift may be required when implants are to be placed in the areas where there is not sufficient bone for implants to be placed. Implants need a minimum amount of bone in order to be properly anchored. Dental implants are small titanium screws that are placed into bone to support crowns, bridges or dentures. Below we can see a sequence of radiographs of a sinus lift surgical case.
It is very common to find that the bone in the upper jaw is usually softer than in the lower jaw. The type of bone that we find the posterior regions of the upper jaw can be limited. This reduction of bone results after having natural teeth extracted. The maxillary sinus which is usually found directly above the posterior molars will increase in size when the natural molars are removed. In addition to the sinus increasing in size the bony ridge will also resorb slightly. In many cases this reduction in bone volume may result insufficient bone being available for implants to be placed. A sinus lift is therefore needed in order to increase the amount of bone for implants to be placed.
The surgeon doing the procedure will carry out a detailed examination prior to placing dental implants. CT scans can be used to check the exact volume of bone prior to placing implants. CT image below showing ability to view anatomy in 3 dimensions.
A minimum of 6 months is usually required for adequate healing, although longer healing times of 9 months have shown to provide better results. If the sinus is larger than average, then a greater amount of bone graft material will be needed. Larger grafts take longer to heal.
Research has shown that dental implants are more successful in those cases where implants were placed in grafted sinuses when compared to non-grafted sinuses. The sinus lift allows the surgeons to increase the amount and quality of available bone in the posterior upper jaw. A sinus lift allows for the placement of longer implants, which are able to provide greater stability.
Brighton Implant Clinic is a group of three clinics which provide dental implant solutions for patients with missing teeth. Our surgeons have experience in all aspects of dental implantology. For further information please feel free to contact us.