What Is the Purpose of a Sinus Lift?
For a dental implant to succeed there needs to be enough bone to support the implant. In the upper jaw, just above the back teeth, there is an air space called the maxillary sinus. When the upper molars are lost, the bone that was supporting the teeth can shrink, so there is only a thin portion of bone protecting the sinus. If an implant is placed and it perforates the sinus, this can lead to sinus infections.
Luckily we can increase the thickness of the bone protecting the sinus by carrying out a procedure called a sinus lift. This involves making a small hole into the sinus, then “lifting” the lining of the sinus out of the way and adding a bone graft. This allows adequate bone to firmly secure the implant in place without perforating the sinus and risking infections.
Bone Graft Options
All of the options are safe and provide good results; however, in cases where extensive grafting is required it is usually best to use your own bone as it has the best potential for bone growth.
How Long Does It Take to Heal?
The healing time of bone grafts varies. The gums over top of the bone graft will heal rapidly (in 2-3 weeks); however, the bone takes longer to heal. Small bone grafts can heal in as little as three months where large bone grafts can take as long as nine months to completely heal.