If you are considering dental implants but have lost jawbone tissue because of missing teeth, Dr. Victor R. Siegel may recommend a sinus lift. A special type of bone graft, this procedure is designed to boost bone mass to the upper jaw.
At his office in Rockville, MD, Dr. Siegel can use the crestal approach for sinus lifts, which is quicker and less invasive compared to the traditional lateral technique. Contact his office today to learn more about sinus lifts and how they can pave the way for dental implant placement.
Why Get a Sinus Lift?
Your upper jaw naturally has less bone than the lower jaw. Consequently, when we lose teeth in the upper jaw, the surrounding bone is even more vulnerable to deterioration. It is not uncommon for patients with missing teeth to lack enough jaw bone density to support dental implants.
A sinus lift raises the sinus membrane that rests just above the upper jawbone to make room for bone grafting material. Over time, this material will integrate with the existing bone, ideally encouraging new growth.
The Sinus Lift Procedure
While preparing for your surgery, Dr. Siegel will take images of your jaw to identify the most advantageous site for graft placement. Our advanced cone beam 3D imaging system captures detailed images to create precise treatment plans. This imaging system is an essential part of a completely digital workflow that allows for more predictable surgical outcomes.
Sinus lifts are frequently performed with local anesthesia, although sleep sedation therapy is available for patients with dental anxiety. Once you are comfortable, Dr. Siegel will make an incision in your gums and bone. How the doctor raises the floor of the sinus membrane will depend on which technique he uses. If using the traditional lateral method, he will come at the sinus wall from the side to lift the membrane. If using the crestal approach, he will create a hole directly up into the sinus floor near the location of the future implants and raise it up with a round, metal instrument. Although the crestal method is more appropriate when the layer of bone is especially thin, its more direct route reduces the overall recovery period after surgery.
Although the crestal method is more appropriate when the layer of bone is especially thin, its more direct route reduces the overall recovery period after surgery.
Regardless of which method he uses, the doctor can then insert the grafting material into the newly created space, effectively pushing back the sinus. While he may place the dental implant immediately in some cases, most patients require a recovery period of up to six months before placement.
Recovery & Aftercare
As with any minor surgery, a sinus lift will cause some swelling and tenderness. If necessary, Dr. Siegel can prescribe medication to control pain, congestion, and infection. To further reduce inflammation, patients are also encouraged to apply ice packs to the treatment area.
Patients should also plan on a diet of soft foods while their mouth heals and refrain from using straws or smoking. Gentle at-home hygiene care is advised as well to avoid irritating the surgical area. Most patients can return to work in a couple of days with minimal discomfort. A follow-up examination typically occurs about a week after the procedure.