Sinus lifts (sometimes called sinus augmentation) are often performed before dental implants are placed. This type of procedure might be necessary if there’s not enough bone at the upper jaw (no space for dental implants to attach on).
A sinus lift may require 4 to 9 months of healing before an implant/s can be placed. This means the whole treatment period for the implant to be completed may be pushed back because of the sinus augmentation. Moreover, an additional $3,000 to $6,000 (or more) will be included in the total expense.
Why a sinus lift is important
If there’s not enough bone height in the upper jaw (or when sinuses are too close to the jaw), placing dental implants on that area will be impossible. That’s because implants need bone structure with integrity for them to be successfully placed.
The loss of bone could be the result of tooth loss or periodontal disease. The loss of tooth may result to loss of surrounding bone (it becomes resorbed to our bodies). On the other hand, periodontal or gum disease may cause bacteria to eat away the underlying jawbone and ligaments. As a result, implants might become impossible due to lack of bone.
The procedure only got popular recently because more and more people choose dental implants to replace missing teeth. However, you need to consider the additional time and expenses if a sinus lift is required to complete the implant procedure.
What to expect from a sinus augmentation
First, X-rays might be required so the dentist can study your jaw and sinus. Additional scans (e.g. Computed Tomography or CT scan) might also be required to get the full picture. This will also allow the dentist to measure the width and height of your existing bone before formulating a procedure.
During the actual procedure, several millimetres of bone graft material might be added above your jaw. The tissue that has been cut will then be stitched. This may require 4 to 9 months of recovery time. This period will also give time to the material to successfully mesh with your natural bone.
What are the risks?
As with other forms of surgery, this procedure also carries a risk of infection. In addition, some procedures might fail (even with enough recovery time). For instance, the grafted material might not integrate with your natural bone. As a result, the procedure might be repeated to create enough bone for the implants.
There are other risks involved with the procedure. If you want to learn more about these risks and how to mitigate them, you can contact us here at Rickard Dental Centre.