Sinus Lift Procedure
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The maxilla or upper jaw has several qualities that make it unique to grafting as well as the placement of implants. The most significant difference in the maxilla when compared to the mandible lies in the presence of the maxillary sinus. The maxillary sinus is one of the several natural air spaces that are anatomically present in all human skulls. When a tooth is lost in the region of the sinus, the result may be the presence of very little bone between the oral cavity and this air space. Fortunately, a relatively simple solution has been developed to handle this problem and render a safe, effective and stable result for placing implants. The subantral graft or “sinus lift procedure” has been performed now for many years to allow implants to be used as a replacement for maxillary molars. While some less experienced implant surgeons (periodontists and restorative dentists) are uncomfortable performing this operation to the extent that it is effective, this is a staple procedure for the oral and maxillofacial surgeon. The patient should not fear that this will have an adverse effect on their sinuses or produce chronic sinus pain. Our experience with this procedure is not only vast and longstanding; its use has been commonplace for many years.
The subantral grafting procedure is performed by making a small window in the sinus above the roots of the maxillary (upper jaw) teeth. The integrity of the membrane lining the sinus is not violated but instead is teased upward to form a small cavity or balloon like space that can be filled with bovine bone (BioOss). A period of six to nine months is required for this bone to consolidate after having formed a scaffold for natural bone replacement.