Sometimes patients require dental implants to replace teeth lost from injury or decay, but there isn’t enough healthy gum and jawbone to install them. When this is the case, some dental offices like Bonita Dental Care offer sinus lifts to help create a stronger surface area. For reference, a dental implant is a metal root connected to a composite tooth that is installed through the gums and into the jawbone. It is a permanent procedure meant to help patients smile, chew, and preserve overall health and wellness by creating a full set of teeth.
What Is a Sinus Lift?
A sinus lift is a professional procedure wherein bone is added to the upper jaw near the molars and premolars. The bone is placed between the jaw and the maxillary sinuses, which need to be pulled up or lifted to create room. Because this is a delicate procedure, it is performed by a specialist like a periodontist or an oral or maxillofacial surgeon. Patients are anesthetized during the procedure to avoid feeling pain, discomfort, or slight changes in the breathing pattern.
How It Works
People often fear procedures that involve working with the bones or nose, but the procedure is actually quite simple and doesn’t leave scars or negative effects on the overall appearance on the face. X-rays are taken in advance of the process, and patients are also encouraged to not schedule the procedure during times when their allergies are acting up.
When it is time for the sinus lift, the first step is to cut through the gum tissue where the back molars used to reside. The tissue is moved to expose the bone, and the membrane that lines the sinuses is exposed. This membrane is carefully pushed up and away from the jaw to prevent damage.
Next, the periodontist or surgeon packs granules of synthetic bone-like material in the space where the membrane used to be. This material supplements the natural bone and will be used to hold the implant in place. Once done, the surgeon stitches the tissues.
Patients might experience some pain over the next few days and could be prescribed painkillers or antibiotics. However, the mouth will be ready to accept implants in a few months, when the synthetic bone hardens.