Dental implants can last a lifetime if they securely bond to your bone. They can’t do that if there isn’t enough bone to bond to. When your upper jaw bone is too thin, a sinus lift can be performed to thicken the bone and create a strong anchor point for a dental implant.
Here’s what you need to know about sinus lifts for dental implants.
What is a Sinus Lift?
The goal of a sinus lift (or sinus augmentation) is to permanently raise the sinus membrane and fill in the newly created space below it with synthetic membranes and bone grafting material.
You might be wondering why we're talking about sinus lifts on a dental website. Sometimes, a sinus lift is needed to create a strong base for dental implants.
Here's how the procedure works and why some patients need it before receiving their implants.
What is a Sinus Floor?
A sinus floor is a bone that separates the roots of your top teeth from the sinuses below your eyes (maxillary sinuses).
Why Would Someone Need a Sinus Lift?
Sinus lifts are performed when there is insufficient bone for a dental implant to anchor to. Common causes of a thin sinus floor include:
How is a Sinus Lift for Dental Implants Performed?
Sinus augmentation is an involved procedure — here is how it’s performed.
Local Anesthetic - Before the sinus lift procedure can begin, a local anesthetic is administered to make the process painless.
Incision - To access the bone, an incision is made in your gum tissue.
Access Window - Once the bone is exposed, a hole, or window, is created to allow the surgeon to access your sinus membrane and perform the procedure.
Sinus Lift - After your sinus membrane is accessible, it will be lifted to the appropriate height.
Grafting Material Placed - A temporary (and absorbable) membrane is placed to hold your sinus membrane in place and protect it from the bone graft material. Then, grafting material is then added to the remaining space between the resorbable membrane and the existing sinus floor.
Window Closure - When the space is filled, another type of membrane is placed over the window to keep everything in place and promote tissue regeneration.
Sutures - After the window is adequately closed, your gums can be stitched back together and the healing process begins.
Sinus Lift Recovery Time
After about a month, you can resume your normal diet, but you won’t be fully healed until four to eight months after the sinus lift procedure.
Do’s and Don’ts of Sinus Lift Post-Operative Care
Sinus augmentation is an involved procedure. Because of this, caring for your healing mouth is vital.
Properly taking care of your healing mouth can reduce recovery time, and minimize the risk of complications, infection, and severe discomfort.
After a sinus lift, you should:
Keep gauze on the incisions for two to three hours after the procedure to stop the bleeding.
Elevate your head for the first week to minimize swelling and bleeding.
Apply cold packs to your face several times per day for the first week to minimize swelling.
Avoid hot foods and drinks and spicy foods for about four weeks after your sinus lift.
Alternatively, doing any of the following can prolong healing time and create complications and infection.
Smoking - Not only can the drawing motion cause bleeding, but the smoke can also lead to infections.
Drinking Through a Straw - Like smoking, the drawing or sucking motion can cause bleeding.
Blowing Your Nose - Blowing your nose can cause grafting material to shift and cause issues with healing. If you feel like you need to blow your nose, wipe it as needed.
Holding Your Nose When Sneezing - This is something that you shouldn’t do anyway, especially after sinus augmentation. If possible, try to make as much of the sneeze come out of your mouth as possible.
Swimming - For the first month after your procedure, you should avoid swimming as it could cause a severe sinus infection.
Exercising - Strenuous exercise can cause intense throbbing and bleeding at the incision site.
How Much Does Sinus Augmentation Cost?
Depending on your location and who does your procedure, sinus augmentation can cost between $2,500 and $3,500 per side. This means you could pay upwards of $7,000 for a double sinus lift if necessary.
Sinus Lift for Dental Implants in Fremont, CA
For sinus lift procedures, you should pick a trusted expert. If you’re in the Fremont, California area, Chew Dental Group has you covered with our experienced dentist.
Schedule a consultation today by booking an appointment online or giving us a call!