When a patient is missing a tooth or multiple teeth, dental implants are an excellent option to consider. These artificial tooth roots can help support dental crowns, bridges, and even full dentures. However, if you don't have proper bone density in place in the jaw, dental implants may not be right for you.
That’s where a sinus lift can help. The dentists at our Staten Island, NY practice would like to consider what sinus lift surgery is and how it can help you get dental implants.
What Is a Sinus Lift?
Also known as sinus augmentation, a sinus lift is a type of bone grafting surgery performed on the upper jaw. It helps add density and height to the bone, which is essential when placing dental implants. Without proper bone density, the dental implant cannot fuse with the bone. This process is known as osseointegration.
The procedure involves moving and lifting the sinus membrane to accommodate the bone grafts.
When Is a Sinus Lift Necessary?
A sinus lift is necessary when:
- A patient has suffered bone loss in the upper jaw due to tooth loss
- The maxillary sinus is too close to the jawbone for dental implants to be placed
In both of these instances, the sinus lift will make the patient eligible for dental implants.
Good Candidates for Sinus Lift
Good candidates for sinus lift surgery are people who would like to get dental implants but suffer from bone loss or other issues that cannot be remedied otherwise. They should be in good overall health and not run a risk of health problems should they undergo the sinus lift procedure.
Since sinus lift surgery adds time and expense to the dental implants procedure, it’s important that patients have realistic expectations about the process and what it entails.
The Sinus Lift Surgical Procedure
During a sinus lift, an oral surgeon carefully makes an incision along the gum tissue where a person’s molars used to be, exposing the bone tissue. A small opening is then made in the bone to reveal the sinus membrane. The sinus membrane is carefully moved up. Bone grafting material is then placed in the space once occupied by the sinus membrane in order to build hard tissue density.
During the procedure, patient will be sedated and under general anesthesia. This helps prevent pain as well as anxiety during the surgery.
How Long Before Dental Implants Treatment Can Resume?
Fully healing from sinus lift surgery can take several months. This is because it can take some time for the bone grafts and the natural bone structure to fully fuse together. Only when the bone tissue is fully healed can the implant dentistry process continue. Placing dental implants too early could result in implant failure.
Is a Sinus Lift Right for Me?
The best way to find out if a sinus lift is ideal for you and your needs is to visit the practice for a consultation. During your visit, we will be more than happy to offer our honest assessment about your treatment options. We can also discuss the most ideal alternative to sinus lift and why those may be better for you given your situation.
Learn More About Sinus Lift
For more information about sinus lift surgery and how it can help you get dental implants, be sure to contact Staten Island Aesthetic & Implant Dentist. Our team is here to answer your questions and address your concerns so you can make confident choices about your dental care options.