What A Sinus Lift Procedure?
The sinus lift procedure is a form of surgery, also known as a sinus augmentation, which looks to add additional bone to the upper jaw. The surgery involves adding bone between your maxillary sinuses and the upper jaw, near to your molars and premolars. The sinus membrane is ‘lifted’, and the new additional space is filled with bone. See the embedded video for a more detailed explanation of exactly what the procedure entails.
What Is The Procedure Used For?
A sinus lift is typically done when there is not enough bone in a patient’s upper jaw to have dental implants fitted. Sinuses which are too close to the jaw can also cause difficulties with implants, and a sinus lift can remedy this. There are several reasons as to why this might be the case:
- The upper jaw typically has less bone than the lower jaw and, when people have lost teeth here and particularly in the back, then there is not enough bone for dental implants to be fitted.
- Periodontal disease (aka gum disease) may have led to bone loss.
- Tooth loss, particularly if the teeth were lost some time ago, can also lead to bone loss. This is because, after a tooth has gone, the supporting bone gets absorbed back into the body.
- Due to the variation in shape and size of the maxillary sinus between patients, it’s possible for it to be too close to the upper jaw or to enlarge with age. This poses difficulty in placing implants which must be corrected if implants are to be fitted.
As dental implants to replace missing teeth have become more and more popular, a sinus lift to provide enough bone for implants to take has also been more common place in the last 20 years.