People who have missing teeth may opt for dental implants to restore their dental health and prevent complications such as bone resorption. But some of them may not have the necessary bone strength in the area to sustain the implant. In such cases, a sinus lift treatment proves to be extremely beneficial.
Also known as sinus floor elevation or maxillary sinus augmentation, a sinus lift treatment is an invasive surgery in which bone is grafted to attach dental implants. The procedure is best performed by an experienced and expert periodontist or oral surgeon.
At TruCare Dentistry, we understand the necessity of sinus lift procedures for people who must undergo a dental implant procedure but have atrophied bone in a particular area. In this blog post, we have discussed everything you need to know about a sinus lift.
Techniques of sinus lift:
When it comes to the procedure of carrying out a sinus lift surgery, two techniques depend on the patient’s residual bone height. Let’s take a look at each of them.
Open sinus lift
This is the most common sinus lift technique, which can be performed on a majority of people who have a residual bone height of fewer than four millimeters. One of the biggest benefits of this technique is that it enables the dentist to see the area they are operating. The major demerit, however, is that the procedure is extremely invasive and it involves multiple incisions on the mouth.
In the procedure, an oral surgeon incises the gum line and exposes the jawbone. After that, the periodontist cut out a circle off the bone and fills the space with bone graft fills. After that, the dental professional close the incision. After the area is healed between four and 12 months, the periodontist performs a dental implant procedure.
Closed sinus lift
This is performed on those people who have a residual bone height of more than four to five millimeters. This technique does not entail making any incisions. Instead, a single hole is made through which the dental implant is inserted.
The biggest advantage of this technique is the implant can be immediately inserted after the sinus floor elevation. Some other benefits include fewer incisions and decreased surgical time. The major demerit of this technique, however, is the periodontist cannot see the structures they are working on.
Who is a good candidate for sinus lift and who isn’t?
Any individual with good health and bone density is a good candidate for a sinus lift.
Some unsuitable candidates for sinus lift include:
- People who have a drinking problem
- Smokers who cannot quit tobacco
- People with chronic sinusitis and allergic rhinitis
- Individuals with high blood sugar
- People who are being treated for certain types of cancer
Risks associated with sinus lift
Some of the risks associated with sinus lift surgery are:
- Bone graft failure
- Sinus membrane perforation
- Bone graft displacement or dislocation
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
Preparation procedures for a sinus lift
Before the surgery, your dentist will recommend a CBCT (cone-beam computed tomography) scan or X-rays so that they can see your sinuses and jaw. This will enable them to plan the surgery and identify if there are any risks associated with the procedure. If everything is fine, then they will give their nod for the surgery.
Before the surgery, you will need to discontinue specific medicines such as blood thinners and others that can harm the procedure. You may also need to get your insurer’s approval as well as arrange for the commute to and from the clinic and plan for the recovery time.
A majority of sinus floor elevations are performed after the administration of local anesthesia or sedation dentistry. In case the surgeon administers general anesthesia, you will be directed to stop consuming food or liquids some hours before the procedure. Some dentists may give certain medicines, such as antibiotics, a while before the procedure.
On the day of the procedure, upon arrival at the surgeon’s office, you’ll be required to do some paperwork as well as answer a few questions, which may pertain to your overall health, allergies, medicines you’ve had, and so on.
After that, the healthcare provider will check your blood pressure as well as other key parameters and administer a local anesthetic to sedate the area that will be operated on. Some people receive general anesthesia or sedative.
After that, the oral surgeon will perform the surgery. If, like a majority of people, you have a residual bone height of fewer than four millimeters an open sinus lift will be performed on you. However, if you have a residual bone height of more than four millimeters, the surgeon will perform a closed sinus lift.
After the procedure is complete, the surgeon will monitor you for some time, and before discharging you will receive prescribed medications as well as clear instructions on care and speedy recovery. Some commonly prescribed medicines are antibiotics, antimicrobial mouthwashes, painkillers, decongestants, and nasal sprays.
Tips for a faster recovery
Even though a sinus lift procedure takes nearly six months for complete healing, you can accelerate the recovery procedure by following some simple steps. Here are they.
After the sinus lift procedure, your periodontist will recommend special diet liquids for some days after the surgery and eating soft foods after that. For faster recovery, take non-spicy foods that are rich in nutrients and micronutrients. Make sure to avoid acidic, spicy, and hot foods.
Use ice packs to minimize swelling in the mouth. While sleeping, keep your head elevated for the first few nights after the surgery to avoid nose bleeding. Avoid strenuous activities or lifting heavy things to prevent bleeding. Your dentist will instruct what activities you can perform and what activities you should avoid.
If you feel any pain in the affected area, take the medicines as prescribed by your oral surgeon. Painkillers such as Advil, Motrin, and Tylenol can help in reducing the pain.
Be extremely careful while blowing your nose or sneezing as it can dislocate the bone graft. As it is almost impossible to avoid sneezing, do so with your mouth open. Avoid using straws and putting unnecessary pressure on your sinuses.
A sinus lift is extremely necessary for people who have atrophied bone in their palate, which doesn’t allow them to get a dental implant. A majority of people with this condition qualify for sinus lift surgery while some may not be the right candidate for it. At TruCare, we have helped many people get a sinus lift procedure. If you are considering it, call us to schedule an appointment.