A sinus augmentation, or sinus lift surgery, is a procedure that adds bone to the upper jaw area of the molars and premolars. The bone is added between the jaw and the maxillary sinuses, located on either side of the nose. The sinus membrane is moved upward, or lifted, in order to make room for the new bone. Either a periodontist or an oral and maxillofacial surgeon can perform a sinus lift.

Sinus Augmentation

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Sinus augmentation is often recommended when the height of a patient’s bone in the upper jaw is not sufficient or when the sinuses are very close to the jaw. Other reasons for the procedure include:

  • Bone loss due to periodontal disease.
  • Bone loss arising from tooth loss. This occurs because the bone underneath the missing teeth becomes exposed and the body reabsorbs it, resulting in thinning.

Like dental implants, sinus augmentation has become a popular procedure. The bone to be used in a sinus augmentation may be sourced from the patient’s own body, from a cadaver source, or from a cow bone. If the bone comes from the patient’s own body, it is usually taken from the hip or tibia.

Prior to the procedure, the dentist will take an x-ray of the patient’s jaw and sinuses and study their anatomy. In some cases, CT scans are needed for a clearer picture of the area, allowing the dentist to accurately measure the height and width of the existing bone and evaluate the health of the sinuses.

The sinus augmentation procedure begins with the surgeon making an incision in the gum tissue. After raising the gum tissue, the bone will be exposed, and a small, oval window will be created in the bone. The surgeon can find the membrane lining the sinus on the other side of the window and gently push the membrane up and away from the jaw. The doctor will then pack the former sinus area with granules of bone-graft material. The amount will depend on the bone thickness that is desired. Once the bone graft is in place, the tissue will be stitched back together.

For more information on sinus augmentation or tooth implants in Farmington, call Layton Implants.