Most dental implants are only an option for patients who have strong, healthy jawbones. Unfortunately, many people experience significant bone loss after losing a tooth or developing an oral health disorder like periodontitis. The upper back portion of the jaw needs to be in good health to avoid harming the sinuses.
If you have had bone loss and believe you are not a candidate for implants, we have a solution! With a sinus lift procedure at DFW Oral Surgeons, we can skillfully graft new bone material onto your existing jawbone to restore your bone strength and make it possible to receive dental implants.
What is a Sinus Lift?
The back portion of your upper jawbone sits just below your sinuses. If your bone becomes too thin, your dental implants may puncture the sinuses during placement. This can lead to implant failure, chronic sinus infections, and a variety of other complications.
To avoid this, Dr. Shillingburg may recommend performing a sinus lift before installing your permanent implants. A sinus lift involves raising the sinus floor and introducing a bone graft into the space below. Over time, the graft will merge with your existing bone. This new bone will protect your sinuses and strengthen your jaw.
What is the Sinus Lift Procedure?
For this procedure, Dr. Shillingburg will begin by placing you under a general anesthetic to ensure you do not feel any pain or discomfort while he is operating. Once the sedation is in effect, Dr. Shillingburg will make a small incision in the gums at the top of the mouth. Lifting the tissue, he will expose the jawbone and make a circular cut in the bone.
Once he finishes cutting out a small piece of bone, Dr. Shillingburg will gently lift it into the space below the sinus cavity. This will raise the sinus floor and increase the space available for bone growth. Once the sinus floor is in its new place, Dr. Shillingburg will use a bone graft to fill any gaps and encourage your jawbone to heal itself. To finish, Dr. Shillingburg will close the incision.
What Happens Next?
We recommend eating only soft or liquid foods and avoiding strenuous activities in the days following your procedure. It is also necessary to avoid smoking, as tobacco products can hinder the healing process. We will give you instructions to help you understand how to care for your wound.
It may take between four to six months or longer for your sinus lift to heal. During this time, your existing bone structure will begin to fuse with the graft in a process called osseointegration. Once your jawbone has fully healed, we will schedule your implant placement.
To learn more about the sinus lift procedure, please call our office at 972-947-5742, send us an email, or schedule an appointment online. We would be happy to answer any of your questions or set up a consultation!