At Reno-Tahoe Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center, we are big on planning and avoiding oral health issues. Before we place dental implants, we build a treatment plan that will guide us through the surgery and implant restoration placement. Each treatment plan is different and depends entirely upon the unique aspects of the patient we are working with. Sometimes, while making a treatment plan, we find that a patient does not have enough bone structure between their sinus cavity and where the implant post will be placed, in these circumstances, we can perform a sinus lift to remedy the issue and allow for implant placement.
What is a sinus cavity?
The sinus cavity is the passageway that leads from your nostrils to the back of your throat. It is lined by the sinus membrane, which separates the space in your sinus from the bone in your skull. You use it to breathe through your nose.
What is a sinus lift?
A sinus lift is a procedure that we can perform on individuals who do not have enough healthy bone structure between their sinus cavity and where their dental implants will eventually end up to support a dental implant. This issue arises when the implants to be placed are replacing the rear (posterior) upper (maxillary) teeth.
Why You Might Need a Sinus Lift
Everyone is different, and sometimes the sinus cavity is too close to the roof of the mouth. Because the dental implants are rather long and require lots of healthy bone to support them when you are eating and speaking, we may need to perform a surgery that puts more healthy bone between your implants and your sinus cavity.
Sinus Lift Preparation
To perform a sinus lift, we will need to procure bone grafting material either from your body (autogenous bone), from a cadaver (allogeneic bone), or from a pig or cow (xenograft).
Sinus Lift Procedure
A sinus lift is essentially a bone graft that ends up supporting your sinus cavity in a raised position. To perform this procedure, we will first ensure your comfort throughout the procedure with a local anesthetic. We have a variety of sedation options available as well. Once you are completely comfortable, we will make an incision in the gums where your teeth used to be to expose the bone below. We will make a small hole in the bone to access the sinus membrane, and we will carefully lift the sinus membrane up and away from your jaw. This will create a space between the bone in your upper palate and your sinus membrane where we will place the bone graft material.
Once placed, we will suture the site closed and allow it some time to heal. It can take anywhere from four to nine months before the site has healed enough that we can start the implant placement procedure. During this time the bone graft will be growing and meshing with the bone around it.
Please call us today at (775) 430-5355 to schedule your next appointment. We look forward to seeing you smile!