Sinus lift surgery is a procedure performed to prepare for dental implants in the upper jaw. Over the last 15 years, more people are getting dental implants, making the procedure more common. Do you need sinus lift surgery and have some unanswered questions? Dr. Nathan Eberle MD, DDS, FACS goal is for you to have all the information you need about dental implants so you can feel fully confident as you prepare for your sinus lift.
What is a sinus lift?
A sinus lift, aka sinus augmentation, is a surgery that makes it easier to place dental implants. Some people need dental implants but don’t have enough bone support necessary for implants because of bone loss. An augmentation can help, as it increases the amount of bone in the upper jaw, by adding bone to the space between your molars and premolars. To make room for the bone, the sinus membrane has to be moved upward or “lifted,” which gives the surgery its name.
When Do You Need a Sinus Lift?
Dr. Nathan Eberle MD, DDS, FACS may recommend the procedure if you don’t have enough bone height in the upper jaw or your sinuses are too close to the jaw. Some causes of bone loss include:
- Periodontal gum disease
- Losing teeth in your upper jaw
- Reabsorption of bone into the body after tooth loss
What Happens Before a Sinus Lift Surgery?
If you’re getting dental implants, Dr. Nathan Eberle MD, DDS, FACS will first determine where he’ll get the extra bone from. The three most common types of bone used in sinus lift surgeries are:
- Autogenous bone: bone from your own body
- Allogenic bone: bone from a cadaver
- Xenograft: bone from a cow
If the bone comes from your own body, it will come from other areas of your mouth or body. To allow Dr. Nathan Eberle MD, DDS, FACS to study your jaw and sinuses so they can figure out precisely what you need, images will need to be taken here at the office.
How Is a Sinus Lift Surgery Done?
- The surgeon cuts the gum tissue.
- The tissue is raised, exposing the bone underneath.
- The surgeon cuts a small circle in the bone.
- The surgeon lifts the bony piece into the sinus cavity space and fills the hole with a bone graft.
- The surgeon closes the incision.
- The healing process begins.
In about 4-12 months after your sinus lift surgery, Dr. Nathan Eberle MD, DDS, FACS will place your implants. This time in between gives the new bone time to merge correctly with your existing bone. The amount of time between your surgery and getting your implants placed depends on how much bone you needed.
What Happens After a Sinus Lift?
Most people only experience a little discomfort after their sinus lift. You might have some swelling. You might also experience some light bleeding from your nose or mouth in the days immediately following surgery.
After your procedure, try not to blow your nose or sneeze frequently. (We know sneezing is hard to control, so try to stay away from anything that makes you extra sneezy). Sneezing and blowing your nose can cause the bone-graft material to move and loosen the stitches. So be careful.
Dr. Nathan Eberle MD, DDS, FACS would provide or recommend:
- Saline spray to keep your nose moist
- A prescription to prevent congestion and inflammation
- Pain medicine
- Antimicrobial mouthwash to help prevent infection
You will have a follow-up appointment within 1- 2 weeks after your surgery. During this appointment, Dr. Nathan Eberle MD, DDS, FACS will examine the surgical site and remove any stitches that have not dissolved independently. Dr. Nathan Eberle MD, DDS, FACS and the staff will be monitoring your recovery and making sure you are healing properly.