Sinus Lift

Sinus Lift

What Is a Sinus Lift?

Sinus lift is a dental procedure that enhances the bone height to the upper jaw in the space between the area of molars and premolars. It is also called Sinus Augmentation. It is the space between your jaw and the maxillary sinuses in either side of the nose. The sinus membrane needs to be lifted upwards to make space and is usually performed under twilight anesthesia.

When Do You Need a Sinus Lift?

Here's a general sequence of events that happen during sinus lift surgery:

  1. The surgeon cuts the gum tissue.
  2. The gum tissue is raised exposing the bone underneath.
  3. The surgeon cuts a small circle within the bone.
  4. Bone piece is lifted into sinus cavity space and the hole is filled with bone graft.
  5. Once the space is filled, the incision is closed with sutures and the healing begins.

After the surgery, there might be little swelling, some bleeding from nose or mouth. In about 4-12 months after your sinus lift surgery, your dentist will place implants. The sinus lift surgery has many alternatives like basal implants, zygomatic implants helps in restoring the upper jaw with permanent dental bridge and implants.

This time duration gives the new bone time to merge correctly together with your existing bone. The amount of time between your surgery and getting your implants placed depends on how much bone you needed. Your dental professional will let you know when they'll be able to place your implants.

Conditions where sinus lift cannot be done

  • Acute active sinus infection
  • Recurrent chronic sinusitis
  • Severe allergic rhinitis
  • Neoplasm or large cyst of the sinus
  • Previous sinus surgery like the Caldwell–Luc operation
  • History of radiation therapy to maxilla
  • Severe sinus floor convolutions
  • Uncontrolled diabetes mellitus
  • Alcoholic and heavy smoker
  • Psychosis


  • Time factor
  • Cost
  • Repeated surgeries

Bone Graft Failure because of sinus lift complications

  • Risk of tear of sinus membrane: the most risk of a sinus lift is that the sinus membrane could also be punctured or torn. If the membrane is torn during the procedure, the surgeon will either stitch the sinus tear or place a patch over it. If the repair isn't successful, your surgeon may stop the procedure and provide the tear time to heal. The sinus lift is repeated once the membrane has healed. This usually takes a few months.
  • Infection of the bone graft may cause failure.
  • On rare occasions, the prevailing bone doesn't integrate with the bone graft material, and therefore the grafted area doesn't develop a blood supply. If this happens, any implants placed during this area will fail because there's no live bone for them to connect to. If this happens, you'll have the sinus lift procedure repeated.

How Is a Sinus Lift Surgery Done?

When you do not have enough bone height within the upper jawbone to place the dental implants, your dentist may recommend that you get a sinus lift
Causes of bone loss include:

  • Periodontal gum disease
  • Losing teeth in your upper jaw
  • Reabsorption of bone into the body after tooth loss

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