Improve Your Candidacy for Dental Implants with a Sinus Lift

To improve your candidacy for dental implants, Dr. Michael Pikos and our team of oral surgeons provide sinus lift surgery at our Tampa, FL, (Tampa Bay Area Florida) practice. In order to qualify for dental implant surgery, patients must have sufficient bone density in their jaws to support the tiny, titanium posts. Dentists have found that the upper, back jaw presents the most trouble with having insufficient amounts of bone available. Because the sinuses sit right on top of the upper teeth, the patient is sometimes left with just a thin wall of bone between the sinus and mouth when the teeth are lost or removed. A sinus lift provides patients with a solution to this problem, allowing them to qualify for implants. Some patients can begin dental implant treatment in as few as four months.

Preparing for the Surgery

Before your surgery, you will attend a consultation with one of the skilled surgeons at our practice. He will examine your mouth and jaw, then take x-rays and digital images to study your jaw and sinus. This will allow him to determine the health of your sinus cavity and measurements of your existing bone. When he has all the information he needs and determines you will make a good candidate for sinus lift surgery, your doctor will schedule a date for your procedure.

The Surgical Procedure

Sinus lift is an outpatient procedure, and you will receive appropriate sedation for your comfort. To begin the surgery, your doctor will make an incision in your gums at the back of your upper jaw, exposing the bone underneath. He will create a small, round opening in the bone, allowing him access to the sinus membrane. The doctor will gently lift the membrane, directing it away from the jaw. He will then pack the space with your bone graft. Depending on the thickness of the bone, the amount of graft material needed will vary, but the doctor will typically add several millimeters of bone to the floor of the sinus cavity. When he finishes, he will apply stitches to close the incision. Dentists have found that the upper, back jaw presents the most trouble with having insufficient amounts of bone available.

In some cases, if the doctor feels you have enough bone to stabilize an implant right away, he will place the implants during the same visit. Typically, however, you will need to wait anywhere from four to 12 months for the bone graft to heal before an implant can be placed.

Sinus Lift Aftercare

Most patients experience very little discomfort following the procedure. You will need to make sure not to sneeze or blow your nose too hard, because these actions can loosen your stitches or cause the bone graft to move out of place. You may experience some swelling in the area of the surgery, and may see blood come from your mouth or nose. The doctor can provide a prescription for pain, as well as antibiotics and an antimicrobial mouthwash to help prevent infection. Follow all post-op instructions and resume brushing and flossing as directed. Also, be sure to attend follow-up visits as scheduled. If you notice any abnormalities not mentioned in the post-op instructions, or you have questions about recovery, feel free to call our office. 

If you would like to learn more about the sinus lift procedure to improve dental implant candidacy, please call us today at 1-800-NEW-LOOK (Outside Florida: 727-877-0011) to schedule your consultation at our Palm Harbor, Trinity, or Spring Hill location or send us a message using the contact form below.