Oftentimes when upper molars are extracted or removed, your maxillary sinuses can enlarge and take up space in your jawbone where the teeth used to be. In order to create more bone in this area for a stable dental implant, a sinus augmentation can be done. There are two types of maxillary sinus augmentations:
Indirect or Vertical Sinus Lifts can be completed when there is at least 4-5 mm of existing bone height in the upper jaw bone. At PerioLife, we use special sinus lift tools that move the sinus with hydraulic power to painlessly lift the sinus to make room for additional bone graft and the dental implant. An indirect or vertical sinus lift is usually done at the same time as dental implacement placement. This procedure does not usually cause any additional discomfort but does require some important post-operative care. Your periodontist at PerioLife may recommend that you use some antihistamines to prevent mucus buildup in your sinus and allow proper healing.
Direct or Lateral Window Sinus Lifts are indicated when less than 4 mm of jawbone height is present in the upper molar areas. In these cases, a large amount of bone is needed to lift the sinus. A bony window is cut out from the side of the upper jaw to visualize the maxillary sinus. Then using specialized sinus lift instruments, the maxillary sinus is gently lifted to make room to place a bone graft. Dental implants can sometimes be placed at the same time as direct or lateral window sinus lift depending upon the amount of jawbone available and the density of the bone. The procedure also will require the use of antihistamines during post-care to allow adequate healing.
Frequently Asked Questions
The reason you might need a sinus lift is to replace bone that has been lost in the back of your upper jaw which is deficient in the area around your sinuses. Your sinuses are empty air filled cavities located either side of your nose and can affect dental implants that are being used to replace missing back teeth in your upper jaw.
Patients will experience some side effects as they recover from a sinus lift procedure, but discomfort should be minimal. The most common side effects of treatment are swelling along the gum line, tenderness, and possibly slight bleeding from the gums and/or nose.
After a sinus lift, it will take around 3 to 6 months for the added bone to become one with your sinus floor bone. Depending on the grafting material used, implants may be placed after four to nine months. Most discomfort subsides within a couple days of the procedure. Bone will continue to mature internally over 3-6 months.
On average, a sinus lift costs between $1,500 to $2,500. We will work with your insurance to determine if they will cover any of the costs.