Sinus Lift: What is It?
A sinus lift is a procedure used to augment bone in the upper jaw. This is the area directly below the sinus cavity. The procedure is also called sinus augmentation or sinus elevation.
Many individuals are missing one or two of their upper back molars. When a tooth is extracted, the jaw bone at the extraction site starts to shrink and recede.
An implant dentist may recommend a sinus lift if an implant patient doesn’t have adequate bone to sustain the implant post.
How Does a Sinus Lift Work?
Let’s describe a sinus lift and bone graft.
First, the dentist makes an incision in the gum tissue. This exposes the jawbone below. Then s/he cuts a small opening in the jawbone. Through this opening, the dentist can push the bottom of the sinus cavity upward (toward the nose).
After the sinus is raised to make room, the dentist packs the bone grafting material into the new space created. (The bone grafting material may be donor bone or artificial bone.)
How Long Does a Sinus Lift Procedure Take?
The procedure, including the bone graft, takes from one to two hours.
Does the Patient Have to Be Sedated?
It is not necessary for the patient to be unconscious for the dental process. A local painkiller is sufficient for many patients. However, people with severe dental anxiety may prefer deeper sedation.
What Should the Patient Do After The Procedure?
The patient will be sent home with a gauze pad. If the patient exerts gentle pressure on the pad, it will help to slow the bleeding. Patients should replace the gauze pad when it becomes saturated.
Ice packs used on the outside of the face can ease swelling. Patients shouldn’t rinse their mouth forcefully before a blood clot has formed at the incision site.
It’s vital for the patient to follow all of the post-procedure instructions.
If the incision continues to gush blood (or starts bleeding again) several hours after the procedure, they should call the dental office for directions.
How Long Does it Take to Heal From a Sinus Lift Procedure?
A sinus lift and bone graft procedure oftentimes heal in two or three days if there are no complications.