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A Sinus Lift Can Improve Your Candidacy for Dental Implants

For patients who do not have enough jawbone tissue or space for dental implants, a sinus lift may be recommended to improve their eligibility. During this procedure, the maxillary sinus floor is repositioned and grafting material is placed beneath the sinus cavity, creating a strong, solid foundation for a dental implant post. Our team of doctors in Plano, TX, can perform all stages of dental implants treatment in-house to ensure the highest quality care from start to finish.

dentists and patient

When Is a Sinus Lift Necessary?

Dental implants are embedded in the jaw and require sufficient bone strength and density for a successful outcome. In addition, your jawbone must be large enough to accommodate the implant or implants. There are a variety of reasons why a sinus lift may be required, including:

  • Tooth Loss: After tooth loss, the jawbone can atrophy, which impacts not only your ability to receive dental implants but your facial contours and structure.
  • Periodontal Disease: When a patient suffers from chronic or acute gum disease, they may also experience significant jawbone degeneration.
  • Anatomy: When a patient’s sinus cavity is simply too low to accommodate dental implant placement, we must raise the sinus floor to make sufficient space.

To determine whether you qualify for sinus lift treatment, we will first evaluate the structure of your sinus, gums, and jawbone. We may take x-rays or advanced images for a more comprehensive picture. These scans will also allow us to plan each step of your surgery to ensure optimal results.

The Surgical Process

There are two types of sinus lifts: the horizontal (lateral window) sinus lift and the vertical (crestal window) sinus lift. We will determine which one is best for your situation.

For the horizontal sinus lift, we will begin by administering local anesthesia to numb the gums and surrounding area. We may also provide sedation, which will be determined during your initial consultation. Once you are comfortable, your doctor will make a small incision in the gums, typically in the premolar or molar area. We can then gently lift the gum tissue to access the jaw and create a small opening in the bone.

The sinus floor will be carefully lifted and the doctor will deposit bone grafting material beneath. To complete the procedure, we will close the gum tissue and secure it in place with sutures.

The implant is usually not placed until after a healing period.

For the vertical sinus lift, we will begin by administering local anesthesia to numb the gums and surrounding area. We may also provide sedation, which will be determined during your initial consultation. Once you are comfortable, we will make a small opening in your gums and proceed with creating the space for the dental implant. We will stop just short of the sinus floor and gently raise it. Once raised, bone graft material is used to fill the lifted area and then the dental implant is placed. The vertical sinus lift is less invasive and can be used for those who have enough bone to stabilize the implant at the time of placement. The vertical approach also saves time as the implant can be placed at the time of the sinus lift.

Healing Time After a Sinus Lift

For the horizontal sinus lift, it is necessary to allow about six to nine months of healing time before we can proceed with implant surgery. For the vertical approach, about six months of healing is necessary before placing the implant abutment and crown. This process allows the new bone to heal properly and provides a firm, solid foundation for the implant. The overall timeline of your recovery largely depends on the extent of your procedure, the type of bone grafting material used, and the rate at which your body heals.

Learn More About Your Candidacy

If you have been told you lack sufficient bone for a dental implant, a sinus lift may be able to improve your candidacy. Our doctors can perform a thorough evaluation to determine which tooth replacement options are available to you. Call our office at 972-618-5000 or contact the practice online to schedule your consultation.

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