What Is a Sinus Lift?

A sinus lift, aka sinus augmentation, is a surgery that makes it easier to place dental implants. Some people need dental implants but don’t have enough bone support necessary for implants because of bone loss. A sinus lift can help as it increases the amount of bone in the upper jaw by adding bone to the space between your molars and premolars. To make room for the bone, the sinus membrane has to be moved upward or “lifted,” which gives the surgery its name. A dental specialist like an oral maxillofacial surgeon or a periodontist usually handle sinus lifts.

When Do You Need a Sinus Lift?

If your dentist can’t place your dental implants because you don’t have enough bone height in the upper jaw or your sinuses are too close to the jaw, your dentist may recommend that you get a sinus lift. Are you wondering why you might have bone loss? Good question. Some causes of bone loss include:

  • Periodontal gum disease
  • Losing teeth in your upper jaw
  • Reabsorption of bone into the body after tooth loss

What Happens Before a Sinus Lift Surgery?

If you’re getting sinus lift surgery, your dental professional will first determine where they’ll get the extra bone. The three most common types of bone used in sinus lift surgeries are:

  • Autogenous bone: bone from your own body
  • Allogenic bone: bone from a cadaver
  • Xenograft: bone from a cow

If the bone comes from your own body, it will come from other areas of your mouth or body.

You’ll then need to get X-rays taken. X-rays allow the surgeon or dental specialist to study your jaw and sinuses so they can figure out precisely what you need.