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What is a Sinus Lift and Why is It Necessary?

What is a Sinus Lift and Why is It Necessary?

The words “sinus lift” may sound like a cosmetic procedure, but your dentist isn’t telling you that you need a nose job. Your sinuses are air-filled cavities found above the back of your upper jaw. So, when a dentist recommends a sinus lift procedure, they want to create more space for new bone in your jaw.

Daniel Park, DDS, at Beaumont Cherry Valley Dental uses sinus lift procedures to support dental implants. In this blog, he explains what a sinus lift is and what it’s for.

What is a sinus lift for?

Before we explain what a sinus lift is, we should explain why we do them. We perform this procedure so we can successfully place a dental implant in the back of the upper jaw.

In short, a dental implant replaces a missing tooth. First, we place a synthetic root into the jawbone. Over time, it fuses to the jaw. Once the synthetic root fuses into place, we cap it with a false tooth, or crown.

However, in order for the root to fuse with the jaw, there needs to be enough healthy bone at the implant site. When there isn’t enough healthy bone present, that’s where a sinus lift comes in.

What is a sinus lift?

A sinus lift involves two parts. First, we lift the sinuses to make space in the sinus cavity at the back of the jaw. Second, we place bone grafting material into this new space to make the back of the jawbone heftier.

When you supplement an area of the jaw with bone grafting, you create more structure for tissue to grow, resulting in increased bone mass to support an implant. And, once you have enough healthy bone in the graft site, Dr. Park can place your implants.

To perform the procedure, Dr. Park makes a small incision in the back of your upper gum and cuts a tiny opening in your jawbone to access your maxillary sinus. Then, he gently detaches the Schneiderian membrane from the bone and lifts it up to create more space in your sinus cavity to insert the bone grafting material. Bone grafting material can vary, from tissue harvested from your body to donor material or synthetic products. 

After placing the bone grafting material, Dr. Park covers the opening in your jaw and closes the incisions in your gum. Within 4-6 months of having a sinus lift, the supplemental material becomes intermingled with new bone tissue that returns to the area.

What causes jaw-tissue loss?

There are several reasons Dr. Park could recommend a sinus lift to better support a dental implant. However, four common causes of bone loss in this part of the jaw include:

You can usually expect to need a sinus lift procedure if you have less than 4-6 millimeters of bone height in the back of your upper jaw.

Do you have missing teeth in the back of your upper jaw? Dr. Park can help. To learn more, call 951-845-2661 to book an appointment with Beaumont Cherry Valley Dental today.

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