Bone grafting is frequently required in preparation for dental implants, restoring or building up bone in areas where it is deficient. One common procedure is called a sinus graft or sinus lift, and you may need this treatment if you wish to replace upper back teeth with dental implants.
Your sinuses are air-filled cavities located above your upper back teeth and are separated from your jawbone by a thin membrane. Often, the bone in this area is naturally thinner and isn’t as strong compared with other parts of the jawbone. Increasing the bone in this area with a sinus graft ensures it is adequate jawbone so your dental implants can osseointegrate or fuse with the jawbone properly.
We plan every dental implant treatment here at City Dental meticulously, and we carry out extensive diagnostic tests, including a cone beam CT scan, and which provides detailed 3D images of your jawbone. These images allow us to accurately assess the quantity and quality of bone available for implant placement. If a sinus lift is necessary, we can determine exactly where the graft is needed, and the quantity of bone required for successful implant treatment. We plan each sinus grafting procedure very carefully, helping to ensure the procedure is quicker and smoother and that recovery is faster and more comfortable.
A sinus graft is a small surgical procedure that can be performed using local anesthesia or with additional sedation if preferred. During this procedure, our dentist will make a small incision into the gum, exposing the bone underneath. A tiny opening is made in the bone, exposing the membrane separating the bone from your sinuses. The membrane is carefully ‘lifted’ upwards creating enough room to place bone grafting materials. The bone packed into this space is most likely artificial and may contain special growth factors or proteins that help encourage new bone growth as the graft gradually integrates with your jawbone.
It usually takes several months for the bone graft to integrate fully with your jawbone, creating a stable, strong platform for implant placement. Although a sinus lift can increase the time needed for implant treatment, it is a procedure that helps to ensure long-term success and is worth the additional effort. If only a small amount of bone is required during a sinus lift, it might be possible to place the implant at the same time