Placing dental implants in the upper jaw involves a distinct set of challenges due to the proximity of the sinuses. Often, the maxillary sinus rests directly on top of dental roots, providing little room for implant placement. In addition, when jawbone tissue recedes after tooth loss, the sinuses are prone to expanding to fill the resulting space. All of these concerns can make implant placement especially difficult. A sinus lift procedure, or subantral graft, can raise the sinus floor, creating room to safely place dental implants. As a fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, Dr. George A. Betancourt can perform safe and effective subantral grafts at our dental practice serving the Charlotte, NC, area.
A sinus lift adds bone tissue to the upper jaw so that you can safely receive a dental implant.
Is a Sinus Lift Right for You?
During a sinus augmentation, your sinuses are gently lifted and bone is added between your jaw and sinus floor. There are a variety of reasons a sinus lift may be necessary. For many patients, gum disease or untreated tooth loss can lead to tissue deterioration in the jawbone. When this occurs, the sinus can expand to fill the space, making implant placement unsafe.
Implant placement in the upper jaw can present many issues even among patients who have not suffered bone recession. In general, the back of the upper jaw has much less bone than the lower jaw. Meanwhile, some have naturally low or large sinuses that rest too close to the upper jaw for implant placement.
Your Sinus Lift Procedure
During an initial consultation with Dr. Betancourt, he can examine your oral health and determine if bone grafting or other preparatory procedures are necessary. We can take a series of scans and x-rays to assess the density of your jaw and the location of your sinuses. Before the procedure, we will ensure you are comfortable. We offer multiple forms of sedation dentistry, including oral conscious and intravenous (IV) sedation.
Once you are comfortable, Dr. Betancourt will create a small window in your jaw to access your sinuses. Then he will gently lift the sinus floor so it is no longer touching the upper jaw. Before closing the window, he will pack the area with grafting material to maintain the new location of the sinus and create a strong base for the implant posts.
Many patients experience minor swelling in the treatment area after a sinus lift. You may also experience bleeding. It is important not to blow your nose or sneeze forcefully for the first few days after your procedure, as the force could cause the grafting material to shift. You will need to visit Dr. Betancourt about seven to 10 days after the surgery to ensure everything is healing properly.
Once the bone graft has fully integrated, Dr. Betancourt can perform implant placement surgery.
For most patients, it takes six to nine months for the grafting material to integrate with the natural jawbone tissue. We will perform periodic scans to monitor the integration process. Once the bone graft has fully integrated, Dr. Betancourt can perform implant placement surgery.
Preparing for Dental Implants
A sinus lift procedure can create the necessary foundation your implant-supported crown, bridge, or dentures. To learn more about sinus lifts and the other bone grafting procedures we offer at Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney, call our office at (704) 543-1102 or contact us online today.