Sinus lift is a surgical procedure by means of which the bone mass from the lower side of the cheek bones, i.e. the jaw teeth area, is augmented. When the position and the width of the cheek bone sinuses do not allow fixing of implants, this solution is chosen to increase the quantity of bone tissue that will support the dental implant.
What is the cheek bone sinus?
Like all other sinuses with which it communicates (the frontal, the sphenoid, the ethmoid sinuses), the cheek bone sinus is a cavity full of air. This empty space is close to the roots of the jaw teeth and if these teeth are lost, the bone alveolus were they were fixed has the tendency to become thinner, because of the air pressure inside as well as due to the benefactor absence of the roots of the jaw teeth which supported the bone from inside.
Due to this phenomenon, there is a possibility that the bone mass of the cheek bone cannot bear the implant fixing procedure. In this case, we must supplement the bone quantity using this procedure which consists of lifting the mucous membrane surrounding the sinus and adding natural or artificial bone tissue.
How is a Sinus Lift procedure performed?
Before starting the treatment, compulsory investigations are conducted, such as a panoramic X-ray and a computerized tomography which will show the exact bone structure and density.
The lifting of the sinus membrane can be performed in two ways either internally or externally.
Internal Sinus lift
This is a delicate procedure, which requires a relevant expertise and qualification level of the dentist who is going to perform it because it will be performed in the same treatment session in which the implant is to be inserted.
The dentist will press the sinus membrane to slightly lift it (for several millimetres), to insert, into the cavity, the substance replacing the bone. The dentist will end the procedure by fixing the dental implant.
External Sinus lift
This is a complex procedure which is applied in severe cases of bone resorption when several teeth need to be replaced. The substance replacing the bone mass subject to resorption is inserted, through a lateral incision, into the cheek bone sinus and then it is covered with a collagen absorbable membrane.
These materials which are well tolerated by the body will solder themselves to the already existing bone and will eventually turn into bone after a period of several months (between six and eight months). After this period the implants can be inserted into the new bone. Nevertheless, if the bone is not strong enough, implants can be inserted during the procedure of external sinus lifting.