Lateral Sinus Lift
The primary reason for doing a sinus augmentation is to replace bone that has been previously lost in preparation for the placement of dental implants.
What is it?
Many people, who have lost their posterior teeth in the upper jaw, do not have enough bone for implants to be placed. A sinus lift or augmentation is a surgery that adds bone to your upper jaw in the area of your molars and premolars. The bone is added between your jaw and the maxillary sinuses, which are on either side of the nose. To make room for the bone, the sinus membrane has to be moved upward, or “lifted.” Sinus augmentation procedures have proven to be successful, allowing patients without enough bone in the sinus area to become eligible for dental implants. Sinus lifts are performed in the dental office under local anesthesia by a specialist.
Why is it necessary?
The shape and size of the sinus varies from person to person. Bone in the sinus region can be lost because of periodontal disease, loss of teeth with associated bone resorption, trauma, or infection. The sinus also can get larger as you age. Sinus augmentation procedures have proven to be successful, allowing patients without enough bone in the sinus area to become eligible for dental implants to replace missing molars.
You will need x-rays taken before your sinus lift, so the dentist can study the anatomy of your jaw and sinus. You also may need a special type of computed tomography (CT) scan. This scan will allow the dentist to accurately measure the height and width of your existing bone and to evaluate the health of your sinus. If the radiographic evidence shows that there is not enough bone structure in the upper jaw to support the dental implants, a sinus lift will be recommended to restore the necessary bone depth.
Sinus Lift Operation:
There are several surgical techniques developed for sinus lift procedure. The periodontist will decide which is more suitable for each patient based on the characteristics of the individual case.
The Osteotome Approach (Internal Sinus Lift Procedure):
This technique is normally performed when the sinus floor needs to be lifted less than four millimeters to place the implant. The surgeon will use a series of instruments called osteotomes to gently lift the sinus membrane to the desired height. The implant can usually be placed immediately after the osteotome sinus lift is completed.
The Lateral Window Approach (Traditional Approach):
This technique is performed when the bone is severely deficient. The lateral lift procedure consists of the preparation of a window in the lateral maxillary sinus wall. This window is then moved inward and upward with the membrane to the horizontal position thus forming a new sinus floor. The space underneath this membrane is filled with bone graft material.