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Oral Surgery – Sinus Lifting

Oral Surgery – Sinus Lifting

During the preparation stage of dental implants, there has to be a thorough investigation into the suitability of the bone of the upper and lower jaw. If its volume and density are appropriate, then the implantation can continue as expected. If not, then there are a few surgical intervention options. The most common of these for the upper jaw is the sinus lift.


When a jaw is left vacant of teeth and not under the regular stress of chewing, it is normal for it to atrophy and slowly be decalcified. If the patient is using dentures, this is unlikely to be a problem. The stress of the denture is spread out across the mouth, and any reduction in bone density will probably go unnoticed. But if they intend to have their denture immobilized with an implant or a whole set of implants, the volume of bone will have to be increased.

This is resolved by grafting bone on the inside of the jaw to make the space for the implant to be fitted; the roof of the mouth needs to be lifted into the sinus space.

Prepping for surgery

Apart from the standard surgical preparations as in x-rays and in-depth medical history, the source of the bone graft needs to be determined. It is almost always taken from the patient’s own body; this minimises the risk of rejection and also reduces the issues of having to transport and store transplant tissues. There are multiple sites that the bone tissue can be removed from, but which one would be least disruptive depends on the patient’s lifestyle. 



There may be complications that are specific to each patient, but in general, the recovery time post-surgery is 4 to 12 months. The variation is dependent on the patient’s rate of bone growth determined by genetic and environmental factors, with implantation usually occurring after an x-ray confirms the graft is well established.

Sinus lifting is not considered particularly painful or disruptive to everyday life during the recovery stage. It is normal to experience occasional nosebleeds, and the patient should endeavour to not sneeze or aggressively hold their nose immediately after the surgery. 

All invasive procedures have a risk of post-surgery infection. Depending on your immune system and medical history, you may be considered vulnerable and given prophylactic antibiotics. Otherwise, you should keep an eye on the signs of infection, such as increased swelling, soreness or redness around the surgery site and contact your dentist Richmond if you have infection symptoms.

The most common complication is accidentally dislodging the incision site on the roof of your mouth; this can end up with the sinus cavity being open, connecting your sinus and mouth. If this happens, it is important not to panic. It is easily resolved and will only take a few minutes and stitches to reclose the sinus membrane.

Safety and success rate
Sinus lifting is considered very safe and has a higher success rate as it is almost always used as a precursor to dental implants. It can provide valuable information on your rate of bone growth for a later procedure, as well as significantly increase the chances of successful implantation.

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