The key to the successful placement of dental implants is the quality and quantity of the bone where the implant will be placed. Sometimes, dental implant placement is in the upper back jaw is difficult because there is insufficient bone and is in very close proximity to your sinus (Figure 1). If you have lost bone in the upper back jaw due to tooth loss or periodontal disease, there may not be enough bone to place a dental implant.
A sinus lift (or sinus augmentation) can correct this issue by lifting the sinus floor and promoting the development of new bone for dental implant placement.
There are many techniques that may be used to raise your sinus to allow for new bone growth. Often, bone can be placed though the small hole drilled to place your dental implant. This allows your sinus lift and implant placement to be done at the same time.
If greater bone is missing, a separate sinus lift may be done by a small bone window carefully created in the lateral wall of your sinus. The soft tissue lining of the sinus is “lifted,” and a bone graft is inserted in the newly created space. Once the sinus lift has healed, a dental implant can be placed (Figure 2). Your surgeon will explain what types of material can be used for the bone graft which will regenerate lost tissue and bone.