Or maxillary sinus augmentation is a procedure carried out on the top jaw to increase the volume of bone to accept dental implants and facilitate their osseointegration (implants fusing to bone) .
The procedure is widely accepted and is a very common pre-implant procedure since 1980’s.
An initial small x-ray helps to determine if a Sinus Lift is required. After this, proper planning requires a Cone Bean Computed Tomography (CBCT) scan to be undertaken to appreciate the anatomy of the sinus in 3 dimensions and quantify the bone available.
Why is a Sinus lift required?
- Bone resorption (shrinkage) that occurs after an extraction.
- Bone resorption occurring due to previous dental infection.
- Sinus pneumatization – process by which the sinus gets larger with age.
Essentially the procedure is as follows → Sinus lining is raised → Bone substitute placed underneath → 6-9 months are allowed for the artificial bone to mature and the site to heal.
The deficient sinus is grafted with bone from a variety of sources which could include bone from yourself or commonly from animal (medical grade bone graft). The most appropriate source of bone graft will be discussed and the advantages / disadvantages discussed.
There are some commonly adopted techniques of doing the Sinus Lift. The technique chosen varies from a less invasive tenting procedure (Summers Lift) to a Lateral Window Technique which has the ability to increase a greater bone volume. The technique chosen will be specific to the clinical situation.
If the clinical situation allows, implant placement may be done simultaneously with sinus lift procedure which has the potential for faster results and reduced surgeries.