The sinuses are large, empty air spaces which lie underneath your cheekbones. The size of these air spaces vary from person to person, and the roots of the upper back teeth can lie in close relation to the sinuses, especially if the sinuses are large.
When upper back teeth are extracted, the sinus generally tends to enlarge downwards, which can mean that following tooth extractions you may end up with insufficient bone to place an implant. If that is the case, the lost bone can be replaced by means of a bone grafting procedure called a ‘sinus lift’.
The procedure involves placing an artificial bone material in the very lowest part of the sinus. This artificial bone material is then left to mature and solidify over 6 months before it is ready to receive a dental implant.
Real Life Sinus Lift Cases
How is a Sinus Lift Performed?
Once the dentist has examined the X-rays which highlight the anatomy of your jaw and sinus, only then can a sinus lift begin.
- Gum tissue where your back teeth used to be is cut and raised to expose the bone
- A small, oval window is opened in the bone
- The membrane which separates your sinus from your jaw is pushed up and away from your jaw
- Bone graft material is placed into the section where your sinus used to be
- After the material has been put in place, stitches are used to close the tissue
- Time is allowed for the graft to mature after which your implants will be placed