Sinus Lift Operative Procedure

Around 20% of dental implant patients need to undergo an invasive surgical procedure called a sinus lift. This involves separating the delicate membrane from the floor of the maxillary sinus above the upper jaw in order to insert a bone graft and make the jawbone thick enough to support an implant.

This operation can be performed under local anaesthetic or sedation and even though the success rates are high, the desired volume of bone may not be achieved by the initial treatment and additional augmentation may be necessary.

When we enter the sinus, FOUR different situations can occur:

  • If the bone quantity is adequate to place the implant but the surface of the implant is partially exposed, a small amount of graft material needs to be used.
  • The implant is placed and there is the possibility of increasing the bone quantity by changing the morphology of the sinus cavity without any grafting material.
  • The implant cannot be placed and the bone augmentation is performed. In this case the fixture will be placed 6-9 months later (after graft maturation).
  • If there is a perforation of the sinus membrane the procedure may need to be aborted and restarted after a period of healing that be anything from 3 to 12 weeks.

Depending on the situation, a number of different types of bone graft materials are available such as:

  •  synthetic (e.g. Calcium Sulphate or Calcium Carbonate),
  • bovine bone (e.g. Bio-Oss)
  • autogenous, in which your own bone is removed from a different site and placed inside the sinus cavity.

With any surgical procedure, there are risks involved such as discomfort, swelling, bleeding, bruising, tooth sensitivity and recession, difficulty with opening and closing jaws, affecting adjacent teeth and restorations, cracking and bruising of the lips corners of the mouth and infection.