Also referred to as sinus augmentation, a sinus lift is a surgical procedure designed to increase the bone mass of your upper jaw. Many factors might compel your oral surgeon to recommend you to have a sinus lift. Continue reading to learn more about a sinus lift and when it is necessary.
What Is a Sinus Lift?
In simple words, a sinus lift is the addition of bone mass to the upper part of your jaw above the molars and premolars. This procedure makes it easier for patients with missing teeth to get dental implants. If you lose a tooth from your upper jaw near the floor of the sinuses and you do not have enough bone mass to support a dental implant, your doctor might recommend a sinus lift to increase the amount of bone tissue at the implant site.
This procedure involves moving the sinus membrane upward through bone grafting to create enough room for the bone. That’s why it is referred to as a sinus lift. It is generally performed by dental specialists such as oral maxillofacial surgeons and periodontists. Although not all teeth replacement procedures require a sinus lift, several factors make this procedure necessary.
When Do You Need a Sinus Lift?
Molar and Premolar Implants
A sinus lift becomes necessary when replacing a molar or premolar in your upper jaw because it is located directly below the sinus, a hollow space. This means that the jawbone near the sinus is weak and lacks the necessary density to support dental implants. Therefore, your surgeon has to do bone grafting at the implant site to strengthen your jawbone and increase its mass.
Some people are born with defective jaws that make it difficult for their jawbones to support dental implants without bone grafting. Some of the most common congenital dental abnormalities include cleft lip, cleft palate, alveolus defects, anomalies of the tooth structure, vascular defects, and many more. If you have had any of these defects, then a sinus lift might be necessary when replacing a missing tooth.
Bone Resorption and Periodontal Gum Diseases
Bone resorption is a natural process through which your bones remodel themselves by getting rid of the old bone tissue and replacing it with a new one. Although this process is important for your health, it can cause bone loss if the replacement of the lost bone tissue doesn’t occur as faster as the resorption. Also, severe periodontal gum diseases can cause bone loss, making a sinus lift inevitable.