Although dental implants are considered the gold standard for replacing lost teeth, they are not always suitable for patients who have lost jawbone tissue. This can be especially problematic if you need to replace teeth in the upper arch, where bone is already very thin.
If you are unable to qualify for dental implants in your upper jaw, Dr. Andrew Glenn may recommend a surgical procedure called sinus lift. We can perform this procedure at our office in Lincoln, NE, during which Dr. Glenn will transplant bone tissue or grafting material to boost the bone density in your upper jaw.
Benefits of a Sinus Lift
Although it is a complicated surgery, a successful sinus lift can allow you to access the many advantages of dental implants. If you are missing teeth, a dental implant is a life-changing restoration that allows patients to regain chewing function and clarity of speech. No prosthetic alternative has the ability to replicate the feel and function of dental implants.
While a sinus lift can add four or more months to your dental implant treatment timeline, the precaution is worth the time and effort. Patients who do not have adequate jawbone density risk rupturing their sinus membrane when their dental implant is placed. Having a strong jawbone will reduce your risk for dental implant failure.
Are You a Candidate?
To determine if you need a sinus lift, Dr. Glenn will evaluate your medical history and take images of your upper jawbone during your initial consultation. He will only recommend the procedure if you have lack sufficient jawbone tissue in your upper jawbone to support an implant.
Good candidates a sinus lift should be in good overall health and free of any underlying health problems or condition that could compromise healing. Candidates should:
- Not be heavy tobacco users
- Not be on anticoagulants
- Be prepared for a lengthy recovery period
- Be willing to follow recovery guidelines
- Be willing to wait until their bone graft completely heals before undergoing implant placement
- Have a basic understanding of the risks of surgery
A Look at the Procedure
Patients who have a low pain threshold or suffer from dental phobia may request nitrous oxide or IV sedation options to help them relax. Once you are completely comfortable, Dr. Glenn will make a small incision in your gums to access the sinus wall. He will then lift the membrane that separates your upper jaw from your sinuses so he can insert bone tissue or grating material. Any incisions will be sutured. Over the next four months, the donor bone tissue or grafting material will fuse with your jawbone.
Over the next few weeks, patients should be careful to:
- Avoid touching the surgical site when brushing
- Apply ice to reduce swelling
- Avoid strenuous activities for at least a week
- Maintain a soft food diet for the first week
- Use a saline mouth rise regularly during the first week after surgery
- Avoid using a straw for several weeks
It is essential that you follow Dr. Glenn’s guidelines for recovery as closely as possible to increase your chances for success.
Contact Our Office Today
If you have concerns about the affordability of any of our treatments, our office gladly accepts CareCredit® payment plans. To schedule your sinus lift surgery consultation, please contact our office online or call (402) 421-3401.