Sinus lifting is a procedure performed by an oral surgeon or specialist. The procedure is designed to augment or “lift” bone height at the top of the jaw. This increase of bone mass enhances the ability of a dentist to install dental implants in an individual whose loss of teeth, or facial bone structure does not allow enough space for such implants. A sinus lift is also known as sinus augmentation, which increases bone in the molar area. In most cases, individuals who have lost their teeth suffer from a smaller or more narrowed sinus cavity that doesn’t leave any room or enough bone for implant insertion.
The sinus lift procedure utilizes bone taken from other areas of the patient’s body, most commonly the iliac crest, or hip bone, or the use of artificial bone grafting materials. In a sinus lift, the oral surgeon literally lifts a membrane that covers the sinus cavity into which bone tissue can be transplanted.
In most cases, the sinus lift procedure will be performed prior to a dental implant, but in some cases, both procedures may be performed at the same time. At its most basic description, a sinus lift adds bone to the upper jaw bone in the molar or pre molar areas in order to make it thicker. Such procedures have been performed successfully for over a decade.
The oral surgeon, maxillofacial surgeon or periodontist will make an incision in the gum line near the molars. Tissue is lifted, exposing bone. The creation of a small gap enables the dentist to view the membrane that covers and separates the sinus cavity from the jaw bone. This membrane is pushed or lifted upward, and transplanted bone materials are then inserted into that space. Following placement, tissues are stitched and allowed to heal.
Sutures and will be removed within a week to 10 days following the surgery. Individuals receiving artificial bone graft materials may have to wait several months for such materials to integrate with the natural jaw bone, while individuals using their own bone grafts may wait about six months for new bone growth. Those utilizing synthetic bone may have to wait between nine and 10 months for their implants.
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