Dental Implants

Sinus Lifts

Sinus Lifts2024-02-13T09:52:18+13:00

If you are considering an implant towards the back of your upper jaw, you may be told that a sinus lift is required.

What is a tooth implant sinus lift?

A sinus augmentation is a dental procedure that is carried out when the floor of the sinus is too close to where dental implants will be placed. Untreated, this can result in failure of the implant, pain and other complications. The sinus lift adds bone to the upper jaw, ensuring a secure location for the placement of the implant, while keeping the sinus safe. The maxillary sinuses are holes located in the facial bones between your upper teeth and your eyes (these are what fill with mucus when you have a head cold). Loss of an upper tooth below the sinus can cause the sinus to grow down into the area previously occupied by the tooth. This may leave insufficient bone in which to place an implant (of note, if bone grafting is performed at the time of extraction, this does not occur!). In the case of insufficient bone in this area, a ‘sinus lift’ can be performed, whereby we modify the shape of the sinus by adding bone substitute material to this area. There are two different methods by which we can achieve this: using an internal (osteotome) approach if a relatively small addition of bone is required, or alternatively an external (lateral window or Caldwell Luc) approach if substantial extra bone is required. Sinus lifts are nothing to worry about – at our practice we perform them on a daily basis and the risk of complications is very low. If you do have questions or concerns regarding this procedure, feel free to ask one of our staff.

Osteotome approach

If an osteotome approach is used, this will be done at the time of your implant placement. We will create the hole for the implant, and then introduce a metal instrument called an osteotome. The osteotome is tapped gently to raise the shell of the sinus upward, and this area is then filled with bone. The implant is then placed.

Osteotome (internal) sinus lift technique

Caldwell Luc technique

In the Caldwell Luc technique, a window is made in the bone adjacent to your sinus. The lower shell of the sinus is then lifted up with an instrument, and bone substitute material is placed in the space created. The area is then covered over with gum, sutured, and left to heal for a minimum of six months.

Caldwell Luc (lateral window) sinus lift technique

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a sinus lift and implant be done at the same time?2023-03-13T23:07:31+13:00

In some circumstances, a sinus lift and dental implants can be done at the same time. This is dependent on a number of factors, and varies between patients. Speak to our surgeons about the likelihood of a tooth implant with sinus lift being performed at the same time for you.

Is a sinus lift painful?2023-03-13T23:07:55+13:00

There may be some minor pain and swelling following a sinus lift procedure. For most people, this is controlled with the painkiller prescription supplied by the surgeon and should resolve within a few days of surgery. Some people may experience some discomfort for up to a week, but again this can easily be managed through pain medication.

What are the side effects of a sinus lift?2023-03-13T23:08:20+13:00

Side effects from sinus lift surgery can include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling and tenderness in the area
  • Minor bleeding in the nose and mouth
  • There is a risk of infection

Not everyone experiences all of these side effects, and the severity of them is different. While a sinus lift for dental implant can have side effects, most of the time they are minor and resolve quickly.

What happens after a sinus lift?2023-03-13T23:08:41+13:00

There may be some minor swelling and discomfort after a sinus lift, but the majority of people find it recedes quickly. Some people may find the area may bleed a little, resulting in blood in their mouth or nose in the days after surgery. To avoid this, avoid blowing your nose and try to avoid sneezing. These actions could make the bone graft move and loosen the stitches.

It’s likely your surgeon will have given you some or all of the following:

  • Saline spray which keeps your noise moist
  • A painkiller prescription
  • Antibiotics
  • An anti-microbial mouthwash that can help to prevent infection
  • A form of decongestant
  • An anti-inflammatory

There will be a follow-up appointment a week to ten days following surgery. This is to check that healing is proceeding as expected.

What are the risks of a sinus lift?2023-03-13T23:08:59+13:00

Like any procedure, a sinus lift does have some elements of risk. The biggest risk is that a sinus membrane may be torn or punctured. The surgeon will then need to stitch the tear or patch over it. If this attempt at repair is unsuccessful, the procedure will be stopped and the hole given time to heal. After that, surgery can be attempted again.

Infection is a risk for any procedure in surgery, although in a sinus lift these are rare and can be treated with antibiotics.

In very rare cases, the bone graft may not integrate with the existing bone. This will require the sinus lift procedure to be repeated.

What are the benefits of a sinus lift?2023-03-13T23:09:18+13:00

Most implant patients do not require any form of sinus lift, but for those that do, there are a range of long term benefits that make the procedure worth the while.

  • Increased bone for implants to be placed into
  • Lower risk of implant failure
  • Lower risk of sinus pain
  • Lower risk of sinus infection or other complications later on.

Our aim is to provide you with a beautiful smile, a comfortable and efficient bite and excellent oral health

At Dental Artistry we’re dedicated to providing you with exceptional dental treatment in a practice that adheres to the most stringent safety and quality measures.

Our dentists, and patient support team are committed to treating you with kindness and respect.

Tell us about your dental goals and we’ll do our utmost to help you achieve them.