December 7, 2021
If you’re ready to replace your lost teeth with dental implants, you probably weren’t expecting to need a sinus lift before your placement surgery. Although it adds another step to your treatment plan, it’s necessary to ensure the long-term success of your new smile. Don’t worry, here’s what you need to know to feel confident about the road ahead.
What is a Sinus Lift?
A sinus lift (augmentation) is a surgical procedure used to enhance the amount of bone in the upper jaw. It will also involve a bone graft. The procedures are necessary when there isn’t adequate bone to support a dental implant without the post protruding into the maxillary sinuses, which are located on either side of your nose.
It’s not uncommon to require a sinus lift before getting dental implants, especially if you’ve had missing teeth for several years. Losing even a single tooth causes your jawbone to shrink. You can lose as much as 25% of your jaw’s density within the first year of a missing tooth.
Your CT scan from your consultation gives your dentist insight into the health of your jawbone. Based on the information, they can determine if the additional procedure is necessary to decrease the risk of dental implant failure or perforation of the sinuses.
What Can I Expect?
Sedation or anesthesia will be used to ensure you’re comfortable during the procedure. Your gum tissue is opened near the maxillary sinuses. A small hole is cut into the bone to allow the sinus to be pushed upward. It is held in place using a bone graft. This involves taking bone from another area of the body or a donor to place into the hole. The gum tissue is stitched closed, and you’ll be sent home to heal.
On average, you can expect the process to take 90 to 120 minutes. Although your mouth will be sore at first, you’ll feel better in about 2-3 days. You can take an OTC pain reliever to manage your discomfort. Apply cold compresses to the outside of your face can help manage any swelling or bruising.
While your gum tissue will heal in a couple of weeks, it can take your bone several months to integrate with the graft. You can’t move forward with your placement surgery until after your bone has healed.
Invest in a Long-Term Solution for Tooth Loss
With over a 95% success rate, dental implants are proven to last for 30 years or more. Don’t let a sinus lift discourage you from replacing your lost teeth. It’s a crucial step to ensure your new smile has a strong, healthy foundation it needs to thrive.
About Dr. David Crescenzo
Dr. Crescenzo strives to keep his services up to date, which is why he regularly peruses higher education. He has undergone advanced training at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies. He is a member of various professional organizations, including the Academy of General Dentistry. If you’re ready to treat your missing teeth, contact our office today to schedule your consultation.
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