You may not realize it, but your sinuses and your upper teeth are closely linked. So much so that when you feel congested, you may feel pain in your teeth. If you are ready to get dental implants, you may need a sinus lift so that the jawbone can support the device. At Pacific Modern Dentistry we have several options for you to consider if this is your situation.
What is a Sinus Lift?
When there is not enough bone structure or if the jawbone is too thin to support a dental implant you will probably need a sinus lift. Having enough bone is crucial to getting dental implants, and not all patients will be good candidates for this procedure.
The upper jaw is generally more difficult for dental implant placement than the lower jaw because the sinuses are involved, and patients may require additional surgeries to prepare them for their new teeth.
A sinus lift consists of raising the sinus floor so that new bone can regenerate to support implants.
How is a Sinus Lift Done?
We will administer a local anesthetic we previously discussed during the planning stages. Once you are ready, our surgeon makes an incision to expose the bone and cuts a small circle in it. The bone piece gets lifted into the sinus cavity, and we use a bone graft to fill the space. We will also discuss which graft materials we will use with you before the surgery.
After this step is completed, we close the incision with stitches and allow to heal for a period of up to 12 months. This enables the bone to regenerate and be ready for the implant. After the dental implant is put in place, you will need additional time to heal from that surgery. In rare cases, the implant can be added at the same time as the sinus lift surgery; however, this doesn't happen often.
Sinus Lift Surgery Recovery
Recovery will be different for each person, and some heal faster than others. We will give you specific instructions about how to care for yourself once you are sent home. It is critical that you do not blow your nose for the next four weeks following the procedure or as instructed by our surgeon. Open your mouth for sneezing. Other things you should not do are:
Drink from a straw
Scuba diving or flying
Blowing up balloons
Playing wind instruments such as a flute
Lifting heavy objects
We recommend you take some over-the-counter decongestants to relieve the pressure from your sinuses. We may also prescribe antibiotics as a precaution, but you must finish all the medication in the bottle as instructed.
Do not rinse your mouth or spit the day of the surgery because doing so will prevent the blood clot from forming. We may also prescribe an antibiotic rinse depending on your circumstances. Start using saltwater solution the next day and continue to do so daily to encourage healing and as an extra measure to prevent infection.
If you have any other questions about sinus lift surgery, please call Pacific Modern Dentistry at (206) 607-9822.