A sinus lift procedure is a surgery that adds bone height to the upper jaw in the area of molars and premolars. It is also sometimes called as sinus augmentation. Bone graft is added between the jaw and the maxillary sinuses, which are on either side of the nose. To make room for the bone, the sinus membrane is moved upward, or "lifted." A sinus lift is done by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
Reasons for inadequate bone in upper molar area:
When patients who have lost teeth in upper jaw, desire fixed teeth on dental implants; they find that they have lost a lot of amount of bone which was vital for anchoring teeth implants. There are several reasons for loss of bone volume below the maxillary sinus.
- The maxillary sinus keeps expanding with age and soon patients have little bone left above the 2nd premolar, 1st molar and 2nd molar.
- Bone loss due gum disease.
- Once teeth are gone, bone begins to be resorbed. If teeth have been missing for a long time, then a lot of bone is lost.
Patients who need upper jaw dental implants or full mouth dental implants are forced to undergo sinus lift procedures which delay and complicate the patient’s desire to get immediate fixed teeth. There are many reasons why sinus lift procedures are being replaced by pterygoid implants and basal implants. Pterygoid implants and basal implants allow immediate loading; which means that the patient can get crowns within 3 days after implant placement. The disadvantages of sinus lift operation are:
Patient desiring to have dental implants in the upper jaw have to wait for 6 months to 1 year for the bone graft has to become bone. Only then crowns are placed on the sinus lift dental implant. Sometimes when bone height is less than 3 mm, then only bone graft is done and after waiting for 6 months implant is placed. The crown is placed after another 6 months. So after sinus lift, the patient gets a crown after 1 year.
Sinus lift not only delays the treatment but also makes dental implant procedure expensive. As such, at our dental implant centre, we have stopped doing sinus lift for 5 years. With the pterygoid implants and basal implants, the treatment is quick and the patient gets permanent teeth in 3 daysTM at an affordable price.
- Risk of tear of sinus membrane: The main risk of a sinus lift is that the sinus membrane may be punctured or torn. If the membrane is torn during the procedure, the surgeon will either stitch the sinus tear or place a patch over it. If the repair is not successful, your surgeon may stop the procedure and give the tear time to heal. The sinus lift is repeated once the membrane has healed. This usually takes a few months.
- Infection of the bone graft may lead to failure.
- On rare occasions, the existing bone does not integrate with the bone graft material, and the grafted area does not develop a blood supply. If this happens, any implants placed in this area will fail because there is no live bone for them to attach to. If this happens, you can have the sinus lift procedure repeated.