Sinus Lift, Katy TX
What is a Sinus Lift?
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The maxillary sinuses are behind your cheeks and on top of the upper teeth. These sinuses are empty, air-filled spaces. Some of the roots of the natural upper teeth extend up into the maxillary sinuses. When these upper teeth are removed, there is often just a thin wall of bone separating the maxillary sinus and the mouth. Dental implants need bone to hold them in place. When the sinus wall is very thin, it is impossible to place dental implants in this bone.
The key to a successful and long-lasting dental implant is the quality and quantity of jawbone to which the implant will be attached. If bone loss has occurred, a sinus augmentation or lift can raise the sinus floor and allow for new bone formation. A sinus lift is one of the most common bone grafting procedures for patients with bone loss in the upper jaw. The procedure seeks to grow bone in the floor of the maxillary sinus above the bony ridge of the gum line that anchors the teeth in the upper jaw. By strengthening and growing bone in this location, dental implants can be placed and secured in the new bone growth.
Am I a Candidate for a Sinus Lift Procedure?
A sinus lift may be necessary if you:
- are missing more than one tooth in the back of your jaw.
- are missing a significant amount of bone in the back of your jaw.
- are missing teeth due to a birth defect or condition.
- are missing most of the maxillary teeth, but require support for dental implants.
How is this Oral Surgery Accomplished?
In the most common sinus augmentation procedure used in our office, the sinus lift can be perfomed through the implant site. The sinus membrane is elevated with specialized instruments, and the area is packed with bone. The implant can usually be placed at the same time. After several months of healing, the bone becomes part of the patient’s jaw. This transalveolar or crestal sinus lift is much less traumatic than traditional sinus lifts. In most cases there is little swelling or discomfort.
In some cases a traditional sinus lift may be necessary. A traditional sinus lift uses a small incision made in the premolar or molar region to expose the jawbone. A small opening is cut into the bone, and the membrane lining the sinus is pushed upward. The underlying space is filled with bone grafting material, either from your own body or from a cadaver. After the bone is implanted, the incision is stitched up and the healing process begins. If enough bone between the upper jaw ridge and the bottom of the sinus is available to stabilize the implant well, sinus augmentations and implant placement canusually be performed as a single procedure. If not enough bone is available, the sinus augmentation will have to be performed first, then the graft will have to mature for several months, depending upon many factors. Once the graft has matured, the implants can be placed.
The sinus graft makes it possible for many patients to have dental implants when years ago there was no other option besides wearing loose dentures.
A sinus augmentation is generally performed at Dr. Wiggins’s office, undergeneral anesthesia.