What is a Sinus?:
The maxillary sinuses are behind your cheeks and on top of the upper teeth. These sinuses are empty, air-filled spaces. Some of the roots of the natural upper teeth extend up into the maxillary sinuses. When these upper teeth are removed, there is often just a thin wall of bone separating the maxillary sinus and the mouth. Dental implants need bone to hold them in place. When the sinus wall is very thin, it is impossible to place dental implants in this bone.
The Sinus Augmentation Procedure:
The key to a successful and long-lasting dental implant is the quality and quantity of jawbone to which the implant will be attached. If bone loss has occurred due to injury or periodontal disease, a sinus augmentation can raise the sinus floor and allow for new bone formation.
“Sinus augmentation” is a confusing term because the sinuses are not tampered with. Instead, bone is simply added between the existing bone and the sinus, creating more bone height for an implant and “lifting” the sinus.
The doctors will explain the procedure as it relates to your individual case. In some cases, the sinus lift can be performed at the time of implant placement. In all cases, the procedure is generally tolerated well by the patient with minimal impact on daily activities.
The sinus graft makes it possible for many patients to have dental implants when years ago there was no other option besides wearing loose dentures.