FAQ - Sinus Lift

What is a sinus lift?

A sinus lift is an oral surgical procedure aimed at lifting the sinus cavity above the teeth in the upper jaw so as to make a bone graft, and usually a dental implant, possible. When a top molar has been missing for a long time, the sinus cavity will stretch out to fill in the gap. An enlarged sinus cavity can cause quite a few problems, and when inserting a dental implant, the implant can poke over into the sinus cavity, which is unsanitary, and also may damage the sinus cavity itself.

What is the procedure like?

The procedure is relatively simple, but it is an invasive form of oral surgery. First, the gums and bones will be peeled back to expose the sinus cavity, which will be filled up with bone graft material. After that the bone and gums will be sewn back into place, and allowed to heal. Occasionally, a membrane will need to be placed between the bone graft material and the patients tissue as well. All of this takes between 30 and 45 minutes.

Sinus lift -FAQ

How long is the healing time after a sinus lift?

Although each individual can expect a different healing time-which is mostly dependant on health conditions, previous medical history, age and a host of other personal information- it is a safe bet to say that it takes about six months to heal after a sinus lift surgery.  

Are there any risks involved?

Sinus lifts have a 97% rate of success, placing them in the safest of surgical procedures, alongside appendectomies, dental implantation and removal of tonsils. The risk of infection is the same as with a bone graft, namely around 1%. In order to minimise risks you should tell your oral surgeon about existing medical conditions you may have, or medications that you are taking.  

Is there any risk when getting a sinus lift?

As with all surgeries, there is some risk. This is an invasive surgery, in which your body is altered surgically. That being said, in surgical terms, this procedure is considered extremely safe. Possible risks with sinus lifts are that the sinus cavity may become perforated during the lift, or that after the sinus lift, when you get an implant, it may protrude into the sinus cavity. Both of these problems can be quickly fixed, and will be visible on a dental x-ray immediately. If you feel any discomfort, just get back to us, and we can book you for a checkup as soon as possible.

Can I get a sinus lift if I have chronic sinus problems such as sinusitis, or have trouble clearing fluid from the sinus cavity?

You can, however it might not be in your best medical interest. It depends on the specific sinus condition, and how much fluid we are dealing with. You should always inform the surgeon of any related medical conditions before undergoing any sort of surgery. As with all dentistry, all information pertaining to the head is important, and knowing what we are dealing with will make the likelihood of success much higher. You may also want to consult an ear, eye, and throat doctor before getting the sinus lift, as if you have been cooperating with a medical professional, than s/he might have medical information that may be relevant for the success of the treatment.

What materials are used?

For sinus lifts, usually a membrane is used, which is made out of plastic. The plastic is hypoallergenic, and is incredibly durable. The only other materials used are those used in the bone graft, which is, depending on the type of bone graft used, either synthetic bone graft material, or the patient’s own bones, or the bones of some other, less fortunate creature. 


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