Sinus Lift Surgery before Dental Implants
If you do not have enough bone density in the upper jawbone to support dental implants, you may need a sinus lift. A sinus lift will lengthen your overall treatment timeline, but it can increase your chances for successful osseointegration, the process in which dental implants integrate with the surrounding bone tissues and ligaments.
At River City Dental Solutions PLLC in San Antonio, TX, Drs. Joseph Perry and Thomas Shields can determine if you require sinus lift surgery before dental implant placement.
Bone Recession after Tooth Loss
Your dental roots play an important role in the stability of your jawbone. Every time your teeth are subject to pressure, your roots emit tiny regenerative signals that keep blood flow and nutrients coming to the area. These signals keep your jawbone strong and healthy.
Unfortunately, when you are missing one or more teeth, your jaw no longer receives stimulation. As a result, the bone can start to recede.
If you have sustained bone recession on your upper jaw, you may not qualify for dental implants. Without enough support from your bone, the implants may not fuse with the surrounding tissues.
The sinus membranes run along the upper jaw. If the bone is too thin, implant surgery could rupture or otherwise damage the membranes. Fortunately, a sinus lift can prevent these complications and restore your eligibility for dental implants.
If you would not otherwise qualify for implants, a sinus lift may allow you to receive a long-lasting solution to tooth loss. Undergo a consultation at our San Antonio practice to find out if dental implants are right for you.
Sinus Lift Candidates
In addition to the structure of your jaw, there are several other considerations that will affect your candidacy for sinus lift. Good candidates for sinus lift should be in good overall health. If you have been diagnosed with a chronic condition that could impact healing, elective surgery may not be advisable. Your dentist will evaluate your medical history, as well as your jaw stability, before recommending treatment.
Preparing for Surgery
When planning your treatment, your doctor will consider the size and location of bone grafts, the type of grafting material, and how high the sinus membranes need to be raised.
For the best possible results, your doctor will take x-rays and, in some cases, computed tomography (CT) scans. These images will produce an accurate picture of your upper jaw.
You will also receive guidelines to help you prepare for your surgery at home. These steps may include:
- Quitting smoking at least four weeks prior to your procedure
- Eliminating anti-inflammatories and anticoagulants about two weeks before surgery
- Eating healthy protein and vitamin-rich foods
- Taking several days off from work while your body recovers from the procedure
Your doctor will perform your sinus lift surgery under local anesthesia. You may also receive a deeper form of sedation to improve your comfort.
After administering sedation, your doctor will make small incisions in your gums where the jaw will be rebuilt. The doctor can then create a small incision in the bone to access the sinus membranes.
The next step is to lift the membrane and place the grafting material. The graft may be made of your own bone, donor tissue, animal bone, or a synthetic substitute. The graft will keep your sinus membrane from drooping and fortify the overall structure of your jaw.
Once complete, the incisions will be closed with sutures.
Sinus augmentation does involve several weeks of recovery. To prevent discomfort and avoid complications, you should:
- Avoid strenuous exercise for a few weeks
- Apply ice packs to reduce inflammation and swelling
- Consume soft foods for several days
- Use a saline mouth rinse to prevent infection
- Be careful when brushing your teeth, especially in the treatment area
- Take all medications as instructed
- Avoid using a straw for several weeks
- Avoid blowing your nose for one month after surgery
Contact Our Practice
If you would not otherwise qualify for implants, sinus augmentation may allow you to receive a long-lasting solution to tooth loss. Dental implants not only improve dental function but provide unrivaled support for crowns, bridges, and dentures. Because dental implants act as artificial tooth roots, they can prevent further bone atrophy and protect the structure and longevity of your smile.
To find out if you are a good candidate for dental implants, contact us online to schedule a consultation or call us in San Antonio at (210) 349-3745.