Sinus lift refers to a dental procedure that involves bone grafting. This is usually performed to patients when there is an insufficient number of bones in the upper jaw. This inadequcy may not be enough to last until the duration of the dental implant. Thus, dentists may require sinus lift to be performed before the placement of implant. By doing so, it can provide a good amount of time for the bone to heal completely. However, there may be instances when both implantation and sinus lift are done in one day, depending on the condition of the patient. Although it is typical for most patients to go through this dental procedure, there may be cases when some implants in this part of the oral cavity are not required to undergo sinus lift.
Sinus Lift Surgery: When Is It Necessary
This dental process may be required based on the recommendations of the dentist upon seeing the condition of the patient. For instance, the bone quantity in the upper jawbone of the patient may not be enough to hold the dental implant. This condition usually arises when the patient has undergone a surgical procedure in the past. Gum or periodontal disease can also cause this issue, as well as an intensive and complicated tooth extraction.
Another concern that may result to inadequate amount of bone is the mismatch with the shape and size of the upper jaw and the maxillary sinus. This means, the later is much larger than average when compared with the upper jaw's actual size. With this issue, the thickness of the bone may be insufficient when having the implant embedded.
Importance of the Sinus Lift Procedure
What exactly is the reason why sinus lift is performed to patients? Generally, this is a procedure required before dental implantation, based on the analysis of the dentist. In this procedure, bone is used to fill the maxillary sinus of the patient. As a result, the sinus floor becomes thick enough to place the tooth implant. This provides a solid foundation for the implant, which can ensure the stability for a number of years.
As for the process involved in having sinus lift performed, this involves several steps. Furthermore, there are different techniques that a dentist may implement. The following are among the steps and processes during sinus lift procedure:
1. Making an Incision
Initially, an incision is made in the gum tissue of the patient. This small cut is usually made on the upper jaw's cheek side, which is the site where dental implantation will be performed. In most cases, it is the location where any of the molar teeth or upper bicuspid are occupying. Once insicion is complete, the gum tissue is flapped back, which should expose the jawbone's surface as this portion lies just underneath it.
2. Creating the hinge at the top of the bone.
Next, the dentist will cut the exposed bone in a way that will create a hinge at its top portion. This part of the bone comes with a movable feature, and it is pushed upward and inward into the sinus area. The movement of the bone will cause the sinus membrane to go along with it, and this causes the membrane to be lifted to a higher level.
3. Stitching back the flap in the gum tissue.
After the dentist has properly positioned the material used for bone-graft, the flap is stitched back securely. There may also be instances when placing the dental implant is possible, which is immediately after the sinus lift procedure. However, some patients may have to wait for about 6 to 9 months for the healing period prior to the placement of the dental implant. The recovery phase depends largely on the type of material used for bone-grafting.
Bone-Graft Materials Commonly Used
During the sinus lift procedure, there are some materials that may be used, depending on the most suitable option for the patient's needs and condition. There are cases when the own bone of the patient is used, and this is usually taken from the mouth, shin or hip. Prepared bone such as frozen, demineralized or freeze-dried bones may be used. Lastly, synthetic material that includes hydroxyapatite may be used as an alternative to these other types of bone-graft materials.