Sinus Augmentation

Getting a dental implant involves several steps, including the examination of your current bone structure. Sometimes, X-ray imaging reveals the upper jaw bone is not thick enough to hold the dental implant. One solution that can be done to fix this problem is sinus augmentation.

What is Sinus Augmentation?

The sinuses are cavities located in different areas in our skull. Above the upper jaw, on the left and right sides of the nose, we will find the maxillary sinuses. These sinuses lie right above the maxillary bone which holds the upper gums and teeth.

Since dental implants are embedded into the jaw bone, they extend several millimeters into the gums and jaw. If you are getting a dental implant on your upper dental arch and the maxillary sinuses are low or the jaw bone is not very thick, the tip of the dental implant may come in contact with the sinus membrane. This may lead to pain and irritation of the sinus.

Sinus augmentation, also known as a sinus lift, is the procedure that moves the sinuses upward in order to make way for the dental implant. By performing a sinus lift, the dental implant can be placed deep into the jaw bone without complications.

When Do I Need a Sinus Lift?

The following factors may be taken into consideration when determining your need for sinus lifting:

  • You frequently have toothaches when you have a cold or sinus infection, implying that your sinus membrane is very close to the maxillary teeth.
  • Your X-ray imaging shows enlarged maxillary sinuses.
  • You have had previous oral surgery that may have affected the structure or health of your upper gums (e.g. tooth extraction, root canal).
  • You have a history of gum disease in the upper gums which has caused gum recession.
  • Your maxillary jaw is naturally small.
  • Your tooth has been gone for many years, leading to gum recession which has thinned down the gum and bone for implantation.

Many other factors may call for a sinus augmentation. Our dentists will provide thorough details and explanations in case you will need one.

What Happens During Sinus Augmentation Surgery?

Since a sinus augmentation surgery is only performed when you are getting a dental implant in your upper dental arch, you must be undergoing a dental implantation procedure before the problem can be detected. Diagnosis is done through X-ray imaging of the maxillary jaw.

Once one of our dentists has confirmed that a dental implant cannot be performed without touching the sinus membrane, sinus augmentation will be recommended. If you agree to the procedure once all details have been laid out, the following steps will be performed:

  1. The dentist will make an incision in the gum tissue area where the implant will be embedded.
  2. The incision will be made into a flap with one edge still attached. The dentist will pull back the flap to expose the jawbone beneath the gums.
  3. A small round part of the exposed bone will be cut and lifted upward. Since the maxillary sinus lies directly on the bone, lifting it would also lift the sinus membrane.
  4. Once the piece of bone has been lifted, the empty space where it once was will be filled with bone grafting material. This will promote natural bone growth and stabilize the jaw bone for future implantation.
  5. The flap of tissue will be placed back and stitched closed. Significant healing time is needed to allow the moved and added bone material to grow and integrate with the bone in the new site.
  6. After about 3 to 6 months, your dental implant surgery will be planned.

Is It Worth Getting a Sinus Lift?

A sinus lift is a completely separate surgical procedure from dental implantation, which increases the cost, length of treatment, and downtime related to getting a dental restoration. You have the option to choose an alternative prosthesis such as a denture or a bridge.

However, if you consider the benefits of dental implants in comparison to other tooth replacements, not only are they esthetically better and longer-lasting, implants are also more functional and biologically beneficial because they prevent gum recession and integrate with the human tissue.

If you are having second thoughts about getting a dental implant because of the need for sinus augmentation, you can talk to our expert dentists in Voorhees, NJ, about it. They will be the ones to discuss the pros and cons of all possible treatment choices and help you decide the best solution for your tooth loss.

If you are getting dental implants for an All-on-4 or overdenture procedure, it is necessary to get a sinus lift because all four implants need to be secured in place to allow successful overdenture installation.

How to Get Sinus Augmentation in South Jersey

At Dental Arts of South Jersey, we have highly specialized dental professionals who have been doing implantation and oral surgery for several decades now. They have received training and certification, ensuring that they are qualified to perform sinus augmentation.

If you are interested in getting dental implants, call us at (856) 942-1738 or schedule a consultation appointment. Our dentists will examine your oral condition and determine whether you need sinus augmentation or may proceed with implantation right away.


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Dental Arts of South Jersey
1001 Laurel Oak Road, Suite C1
Voorhees, NJ 08043
Phone: (856) 942-1738

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