A sinus lift is a surgical procedure performed when there is not sufficient bone in the upper jaw to support a dental implant. An incision is made into the gum exposing some bone and then a small window into the bone is made. Once the small window is made, there will be a membrane lining the sinus that separates the sinus from your jaw. In order to lift the sinus up, the membrane is gently pushed upward and a space is created for the bone graft to be placed between the upper jaw and maxillary sinus. After the bone is placed, your dentist will determine if an implant can be placed the same day or if it needs time to fully heal before placement.
Many times, in patients who have had a missing tooth for a significant time, gum disease, and/or are older, the bone may have some resorption. This lowers the sinus and places it closer to the upper jaw. In these cases, a sinus lift may be necessary to place a dental implant. In order to determine if a sinus lift is necessary a specialized cone beam CT scan must be taken to see precisely where the maxillary sinus lies.
Like any surgical procedure, it can be uncomfortable. After the procedure, your dentist will provide you with medications to help manage any discomfort or pain you may have. Everyone perceives pain differently so if you do have continuous pain, swelling, or any concerns please reach out to your dentist right away.