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Who Needs a Sinus Lift?

Who Needs a Sinus Lift?

According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, about 3 million people in the United States have dental implants, with 500,000 new implants placed every year.

Because everyone is unique, the implant process varies from patient to patient. One issue that comes up occasionally is a lack of bone material in the upper jaw in which to anchor the implant.

To fix this problem, dentists use several methods; one of these techniques is called a sinus lift. Read on for more details from the expert team here at Silicon Valley Dental Associates in Sunnyvale, California.

What is a sinus lift?

The idea behind a sinus lift is to create more bone structure in which to anchor the dental implant used to replace a tooth. 

In some cases, people who lose a tooth experience a decrease in bone density in that area, which makes it hard to install an implant. This can especially be a problem in the upper back jaw, where the bone quantity and quality are usually less to start with.

Just above this upper jaw area sits your empty sinus cavity, part of your respiratory system. To perform a sinus lift, we make an incision in your gums and cut a small hole in your jawbone.

Through this hole, we then push up the membrane surrounding the sinus area and insert bone grafting material into the resulting space. This bone material may be grafted from human bone, or it may come from bovine bone tissue or even be synthetic bone tissue.

We close the incision and allow you time to heal. During this healing time, your natural bone tissue surrounds the graft and grows stronger and thicker so it’s able to hold an implant.

Sinus lifts may also be needed for people needing implants who’ve lost some bone structure to gum disease. You might also be a candidate for a sinus lift if you have a naturally large sinus cavity, which means there’s less room for your upper jawbone.

What should you expect?

After the surgery, ice and over-the-counter pain relievers can help control swelling and pain. You should only eat soft foods for a certain period of time, and a warm saltwater rinse can help keep the area clean. 

We may also prescribe an antibiotic to prevent and/or treat any infection that shows up. It usually takes a few months after the surgery for the bone graft to be strong enough to hold the implant, but we can give you an exact plan after an examination.

If you’ve been told you need a sinus lift before you can get a dental implant, call Silicon Valley Dental Associates to set up an appointment. We can give you a customized plan of action to restore you to full dental health again!

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