What is Sinus Lift?

When there is not enough room between the jaw and the sinuses to allow for implants, bone must be added. It is added between the jaw and the maxillary sinuses. These are on either side of the nose. To add the bone, the sinuses must be lifted to make room. This is a surgical procedure done by a surgeon or a periodontist.

Why would there be a lacking of room in the jaw/sinus area?

If teeth have fallen out or been removed, the bone may have reabsorbed to a degree into the body. This leads to less bone in the area. The bone loss also could have been the result of gun disease. In some rare cases, it is just the way the sinuses and jaws formed at birth that leads to crowding. We also tend to lose bone as we age. There are many reasons why this happens.

How is the surgery done?

The surgeon or Periodontist will cut the gum tissue toward the back of the mouth. (Where back teeth were) He then cuts a small “window” in the bone. The membrane that separates the sinus from the jaw is pushed up. Small pieces of bone-graft material is the placed in the space created. This requires several millimeters of bone. Then the gun tissue is stitched close. After healing (about 9 months) the implants can be installed. The dental expert will take x-rays to study the anatomy of the sinuses, teeth and face. In some cases CT scans will also be done.

Where does the bone come from?

The bone comes from other parts of the human body. Sometimes it is removed from other parts of the mouth. Another place it could be harvested from is the hip or the tibia which is the bone beneath the knee. If these options are not viable, the bone from a cadaver or cow can be used in the procedure.


There will be some swelling and likely a minimal amount of bleeding. Blowing the nose or sneezing violently could cause the bone-graphs to move. The doctor will prescribe medication to keep congestion for forming. He will also prescribe medication for pain, antibiotics, and a special anti-bacterial mouthwash. He may also suggest a saline spray to wash the area and keep it moist. There will be a follow-up to the doctor in 7-10 days and unless dissolving stitches were used, they will need to be removed.

If you have any questions about sinus lift or would like to arrange your complimentary consultation, please contact us today.