John J. DiGregorio, DDS, PC
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
574 Bay Ridge Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11209
718-745-6555

Sinus Lift Procedure

The maxillary sinuses are behind your cheeks and on top of the upper teeth. Sinuses are like empty rooms that have nothing in them. Some of the roots of the natural upper teeth extend up into the maxillary sinuses. When these upper teeth are removed, there is often just a thin wall of bone separating the maxillary sinus and the mouth. Dental implants need bone to hold them in place. When the sinus wall is very thin, it is impossible to place dental implants in this bone.

There is a solution and it is called a sub (antral) sinus graft. The dental implant surgeon enters the sinus from where the upper teeth used to be. The sinus membrane is then lifted upward and bone regenerating material such as Puros or bone morphogenic protein, Infuse, and or Bio-Oss is inserted into the floor of the sinus. Keep in mind that the floor of the sinus is the roof of the upper jaw. After several months of healing, the bone becomes part of the patient’s jaw and dental implants can be inserted and stabilized in this new sinus bone.

In some cases, a less expensive procedure can be performed. If just a few millimeters of height are needed we can perform a sinus intrusion or tenting instead of the open sinus lift graft. This procedure uses specialized sinus intrusion instruments to tap the sinus membrane in the prepared socket before placing bone regenerative material and an implant.

The sinus graft or sinus intrusion will make it possible for many patients to have dental implants where previously there was no other option other than wearing loose dentures.

If enough bone between the upper jaw ridge and the bottom of the sinus is available to stabilize the implant well, sinus augmentations and implant placement can sometimes be performed as a single procedure.  If there is not enough bone available, the sinus augmentation has to be performed first and then the graft will have to mature for several months, depending upon the type of graft material used. Once the graft has matured, the implants can be placed.