If you’re missing teeth, your dentist might recommend you consider getting an implant to replace the tooth or teeth that you lost. Implant-supported dentures are often used as alternatives to bridges and traditional dentures, which can be uncomfortable or inconvenient to wear. However, one thing that many people do not know about getting implants is that they can fail because of a lack of space in the jawbone itself. When this happens, a sinus lift may be necessary to ensure that the implants have enough space to be successful and help you keep your smile healthy!
What is a Sinus Lift?
A sinus lift is a surgical procedure that raises the lining of the nasal sinus cavity and adds bone (via a graft) to the sinus floor, which is the area between your cheekbone and upper jaw. This extra space and bone density provide a solid foundation for dental implants, which are used to replace missing teeth.
Sinus lifts are often needed for people in DFW who have lost teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or another reason. If they go an extended amount of time with teeth missing next to their nasal sinuses, the sinus cavity may “drop” into that space. The good news is that this procedure can give you back your smile and make DFW dental implants a reality!
Consult with a DFW Implant Expert Before Committing to Sinus Lift Surgery
If you’re considering dental implants in Dallas or Ft. Worth, you may have heard that you may need a sinus lift. This is a type of surgery that’s sometimes necessary to prepare your upper jaw for dental implants. They do not affect your lower jaw (mandible.)
A sinus lift is usually performed by an oral surgeon or another implant specialist, and it involves raising your sinuses and adding bone to your upper jaw. The team at ARCHPOINT is a multi-specialist network of dental experts who can provide you with the advice you need about your situation.
Someone who has experienced extensive bone and tooth loss will do best speaking to an implant expert, as a general dentist is usually unable to offer such surgeries in their practice. Specialty offices that perform full oral rehabilitation with dental implants have better resources and technology on hand to make sinus lift surgery a safe and efficient procedure.
When in doubt, always get a second opinion from an implant specialist. At ARCHPOINT, we use 3D scans of your oral anatomy to determine the exact location of your sinus lining so that we know well ahead of your implant surgery if a sinus lift is even necessary.
Who Performs Sinus Lift Surgery?
A sinus lift is a type of oral surgery that is usually performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon or similar specialists, such as a periodontist or prosthodontist. This type of surgery is not a routine procedure that you’ll find offered in a general family or cosmetic practice. Typically, it is performed under oral or IV sedation, so your dental provider will need to have those resources in their clinic as well.
Purpose of Sinus Lift Surgery
Sinus lift surgery is a procedure that’s performed to raise the sinus floor and allow for dental implants to be placed. If the sinus lining isn’t raised, the dental implants would simply rupture through the sinus cavity and then predispose the patient to chronic infections or implant failure.
The sinus lift is needed when there isn’t enough bone in the upper jaw for dental implants. As the sinus lining is lifted, the dentist then inserts a bone graft in that space to fill in the open area.
Because tooth roots reach far up into the mouth next to the nasal sinuses, removing a tooth creates a void where the sinus lining can “drop.” The longer you go with missing teeth, the more likely it is that the sinus lining will lower. This surgery is often performed on patients who have lost teeth due to periodontal disease or injury, creating a safe space for dental implantation to occur.
Do All Implant Patients Need Sinus Lifts?
No, not all implant patients need sinus lifts. However, if you are missing teeth in your upper jaw, especially in the back of your mouth, you may need this type of surgery. This is because the sinuses are located behind the cheekbones and close to the roots of your upper back teeth. When you lose teeth, the bone that supports them begins to shrink. This can cause the sinuses to collapse, which makes it difficult to place implants in that area.
Tooth loss elsewhere in the mouth will not affect the lining of your sinus cavities. And if you’re getting dental implants shortly after tooth removal, you are less likely to need a sinus lift at all.
Recovery After Sinus Lift Surgery
Most patients report excellent results following sinus lift surgery. Recovery times vary from patient to patient but are typically short. Most people feel well enough to return to work and their normal activities within a few days. It is important to avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting for at least a week after surgery. You should also sleep with your head elevated for the first few nights.
Within a couple of weeks, you can return back to your normal exercise routine and diet. Just be sure not to rush things, as you could delay the healing process.
Consult With an Implant Specialist
If you’re considering implant surgery, it’s important to consult with an implant specialist like the team at ARCHPOINT in Dallas and Ft. Worth. This type of surgery is complex, and it’s important to make sure that you’re working with a qualified surgeon who has experience with this procedure. When you have an experienced team with added resources like 3D CBCT imaging and in-house sedation, you can have the confidence of knowing that your oral health and future smile are in the best hands possible.
Contact us today to learn more!