Sinus Lift and Bone Grafting
Sinus Lift (Sinus Augmentation/ Sinus Elevation)
A sinus lift is performed when the molars (back teeth) of the upper jaw are missing, or need to be removed, but there is not enough bone to hold implants in place.
When the sinuses have enlarged, leaving insufficient bone structure in the upper jaw, a sinus lift creates more vertical bone height for implant placement, allowing for a solid and stable foundation.
Sinus lift surgery raises the sinus floor and adds bone and grafting material to the upper jaw in the area of the molars and premolars (middle to back teeth). The bone is added between the jaw and maxillary sinuses, which are located on either side
of the nose. To make room for the bone, the sinus membrane is moved upward, or ‘lifted’.
Factors causing the above bone and sinus problems include:
Because of the anatomy of the skull, the back of the upper jaw has less bone than the lower jaw.
When the back teeth in the upper jaw have been missing for some time, the sinus cavity becomes larger (pneumatises) as the natural bone deteriorates and resorbs (absorbs back into the body) over time.
Bone may have been lost due to periodontal (gum) disease. To learn more about periodontal disease please click here.
The maxillary sinuses may be too close to the upper jaw as the shape and size of sinuses varies from person to person. They can also grow larger as we age.
Sinus enlargement/ cavity expansion:
Bone grafting or Guided Bone Regeneration (GBR) is a highly successful, safe surgical procedure that replaces missing bone in the jaw.
A bone graft (GBR) may be required before a surgical implant is placed. Some patients do not have enough healthy natural bone to support dental implants, so a bone graft is used to create a more solid base for the implant; ensuring long-term stability and functionality (read more about implants here).
The bone grafting procedure can be performed using either the patient’s own natural bone from inside their mouth, or using a synthetic bone material to build up or add to an area of naturally thin or soft bone. The grafted material not only replaces missing bone, but also helps the body regrow lost bone. This new bone growth will strengthen the grafted area by establishing a bridge between the existing bone and the graft. Over time the newly formed bone will replace much of the grafted material.
Natural bone insufficiency can be caused by factors including:
- Gum disease & infection
- Spaces left empty in the mouth after teeth have been removed (long lasting tooth loss)
- Facial injury or trauma
- Tooth development defects
- Wearing dentures long term
- Pneumatisation of maxillary sinuses (enlargement of sinuses by re-absorption of bone)