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If you are informed that a sinus augmentation is necessary prior to getting a dental implant, there is no need to be concerned. This is a quite common type of restoration that allows you to have dental implants even though you have experienced bone loss.
What is a sinus augmentation?
Sometimes called a sinus lift, a sinus augmentation is a procedure that involves grafting bone into the upper jawbone at the area of the premolar and molar teeth. The sinus membrane will receive an upward lift to allow for sufficient room for the additional bone.
Why would I need a sinus augmentation?
In most cases, a sinus augmentation procedure would be recommended to you if you have inadequate bone mass in your upper jaw to support a dental implant. A new dental implant must properly fuse with your jawbone to provide a firm foundation for chewing and biting. Patients who have gone without missing teeth for a long time will undergo a process called bone resorption, or bone loss.
Some reasons that you may require a sinus augmentation include:
- Jawbone damage due to trauma or a difficult extraction
- The removal of a tumor or cyst in the area
- Bone loss due to periodontitis
- Bone loss caused by tooth loss
Your dentist or oral surgeon must examine you by taking x-rays to determine the current condition of your jaw, which will allow them to decide if you would benefit from a sinus augmentation procedure.
Sinus Augmentation Procedure
Sinus augmentation surgery can be carried out in a number of ways. It starts with the forming of an incision in the gums so that the underlying bone is exposed. Typically, your dentist or oral surgeon will create a small space in the bone, raising it up and revealing the sinus cavity. They will lift the cavity membrane and fill the space underneath with bone graft material.
Finally, your gum tissue would be stitched together again.
It is normal to experience some swelling in the area of the incisions, as well as bleeding from the nose or mouth. Patients typically feel somewhat uncomfortable for the next few days, but major discomfort is rarely experienced. If you experience bleeding lasting for longer than two days, or your swelling and pain worsens, contact your dentist right away.
Infection is a risk that comes with almost any type of surgery. But you will be provided with medication to help prevent it. You do not want to traumatize the area of the surgery, so avoid sneezing or blowing your nose only so that the bone graft material is not dislodged, and your stitches are unaffected.