If you would like a dental implant to replace a tooth that has been missing for several years, the jawbone may be too deteriorated to accept it. Placing an implant into the upper premolar or molar region when the bone is too thin could result in the implant entering the maxillary sinus. To prevent this, your dentist may recommend a sinus lift.
The sinus lift procedure is performed under local anesthesia, typically with sedation. Prior to the procedure, scans of the jaw are performed to develop a 3D image that your surgeon will use to plan your procedure.
The sinus lift procedure:
1. A flap of gum tissue is raised to give your dentist access to the bone.
2. A small window is cut into the bone to reveal the maxillary sinus.
3. The maxillary sinus membrane is gently raised to create a cavity underneath.
4. The bone graft is introduced into the cavity.
5. The incision in the gum line is closed with dissolvable sutures, which remain in place for approximately 10 – 14 days.
The procedure typically takes from one to two hours. In some cases, the dental implant may be placed at the same time the sinus lift is performed. Most often, however, the bone will be given several months to heal before implant placement.
You may experience nosebleeds following the procedure, this is normal. Painkillers and antibiotics will be prescribed to help control pain and infection. Avoid blowing your nose or sneezing as much as possible. If necessary, take an antihistamine to control allergies. Do not smoke leading up to the procedure or afterwards. Smoking restricts blood flow and can result in graft failure.
Pain and bleeding are normal for two to three days after treatment. If the pain or bleeding persists or gets worse or if you develop a fever, you should contact your surgeon.