The maxillary sinuses can be described as two pyramidally shaped cavities, located inside the maxillary bone, on each side of the nose. These have an important role in breathing. When patients struggle with tooth loss in the upper jaw, the positioning of this cavity combined with bone loss, can prevent us from safely placing the implants.
A sinus lift will raise the cavity’s floor just enough to make room for the bone graft material and therefore, the implant placement will be possible.
How to prepare for a sinus lift?
Before anything else, our surgeons will analyse, both clinically and with the help of a Panoramic X-ray and a CBCT scan (cone beam computed tomography). The latter will provide the 3D image of the operation site and is is one of the best methods for diagnosis and planning, because it will allow us to measure precisely how much healthy bone we can count on and, most importantly, the exact position and size of the sinuses.
How is it done?
Anatomical structure and health status at the intervention site will dictate one of the following approaches:
INTERNAL Sinus Lift
This is done when access to the sinus cavity is available through an empty tooth socket, when the tooth has been recently lost or extracted. Here the bone will be partially drilled out while the remaining base of the drilling hole is tapped towards the sinus cavity. This will create the required depth to insert an implant. Bone graft material will be added into the space. In most cases, the implant placement can be done right away, in the same session.
LATERAL Sinus Lift
This type of sinus lift uses a lateral approach, meaning that the surgeon creates a small, oval window through which access to the sinus cavity is obtained.
After a lateral sinus lift, the session for placing the implants can be scheduled sometime between 4 to 6 months later. The healing process depends on many factors, including the bone graft size and general health status, so the time frame will be chosen for each patient considering all aspects of the case.
Here are the main steps of the intervention:
- A local anaesthetic is used to numb the entire working area.
- By making an incision in the gum tissue, the surgeon will expose the bone.
- A small window is created through the cortical bone to give access to the loading site.
- At this moment, the sinus membrane will be very gently separated and moved upward (hence the term “lift”) in order to make room for the bone graft material.
- In some cases the surgeon will also place the implants in this session.
- Sometimes, depending on the case, a special membrane is fixated to protect the augmentation site and help in the healing process.
- The gum tissue is stitched back together with sutures. These will be removed in about 2 weeks, after everything has healed.
After the procedure
Most patients experience a little discomfort after the sinus lift procedure. There will be some swelling and pain in the area, but pain medication will calm the symptoms and help in the healing process. To prevent infection, our doctors will prescribe antibiotics and recommend using an antimicrobial mouthwash for a few days. It is not recommended to blow one’s nose or sneeze forcefully, because the bone graft material might move or the stitches might loosen. Either a simple saline solution spray may be used or another OTC nasal spray that will also prevent inflammation and congestion.
After 7 to 14 days we usually schedule an evaluation appointment, when the sutures are removed and the surgeon will check if the area is healing properly. The implants can be placed once the bone is strong and stable enough to secure them (4 to 6 months later).
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Dr. Molnár Lehel Ferenc
Dr. Alexandra Cristina Rus
Dr. Molnár Szabolcs Mihály
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+43 (676) 699 77 35
+36 (30) 146 9080
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Address: Várkerület 43
9400 Sopron, Hungary
+43 (676) 699 77 35
+36 (30) 146 9080