What is a sinus lift

What is a sinus lift, and what are sinus lift complications

You must have wondered about all those difficult dental terms used by the dentist to explain the procedure that will be performed on you. one of them is the sinus lift during implant surgery. I should explain Some important definitions before diving into the topic.


It is a hollow space inside your skull. These paired spaces are connected and have some important functions. One of them is sound production during a speech. Out of all sinuses, the maxillary sinuses are the ones dentist is mainly concerned with implant placement.

sinus of the face

Maxillary sinuses

Maxillary sinuses Are hollow spaces behind the cheek and above the upper teeth. Some of the roots of the teeth extend up into these spaces. When those teeth are removed for any reason, sometimes there is only a thin wall of bone separating the sinus and mouth. This bone may not be of the required density to place a dental implant.

What is a sinus lift surgery?

Sinus lift surgery is a bone grafting procedure to prepare a site for a dental implant in the upper jaw. Sinus lifts have been shown to increase the chance of implant success considerably.

What are the Possible Reasons for Sinus Lift Procedure?

  • Not enough room to place an implant due to narrow jaw
  • Large maxillary sinus, resulting in little room for dental implant
  • Bone loss, commonly occurring in regions where teeth have been extracted, which requires a build-up of bone to stabilize the implant
  • Bone damage or pathologies, such as tumours or cysts
  • Anatomical considerations, such as the location of sinuses, nerves, blood vessels and roots of adjacent teeth

Steps of the Surgery

When undergoing this procedure, patients are given several anesthetic options, including local anesthesia, general anesthesia, intravenous sedation or nitrous oxide sedation (laughing gas).

After anesthesia, the surgeon makes an incision into the gum where the implant is planned. When the jawbone has been exposed, it is cut to and lifted the sinus membrane upward into the sinus cavity. This “lift” provides a space filled with bone graft material.

sinus lift procedure

Depending on the case, sinus lift and implant are placed at the same time, but most often, it is preferred to allow six or more months for the area to heal before placing the implant.

How can a sinus lift be helpful to the patient?

A sinus lift can restore the density of the jawbone to support dental implants, so the sinus membrane is undisturbed by the dental implant. Without proper support from the jawbone, dental implants won’t have enough bone as an anchor to hold them in place.

Traditionally, bone grafts give more bone density to patients who desire dental implants. Still, patients whose maxillary sinuses are too close to the jaw do not have the room between the jaw and sinuses to house a graft. Sinus lift creates a pocket between the jaw and sinuses for the bone to be implanted, so patients without enough room for bone grafting may still have sinus lift as an option to build bone in their jaw to support the dental implants they need.

How many types of bone are used in sinus lift surgery

  •     Autogenous bone:bone from your own body and is taken from other areas of the mouth or body
  •     Allogenic bone:bone from a cadaver
  •     Xenograft: bone from a cow

x-rays are taken to decide which type of bone graft is required.

Precautions After a Sinus Lift surgery?

Most patients only experience a little discomfort after their sinus lift. You might have some swelling. And also, experience a touch of bleeding from your nose or mouth in the days immediately after surgery.

After your sinus lift procedure, try not to blow your nose or sneeze frequently. Sneezing and blowing your nose can cause the bone-graft material to move and loosen the stitches.

you will be prescribed the following medicines by your dentist.

  •     Saline sprayto keep your nose moist
  •     A prescriptionto prevent congestion and inflammation
  •     Pain killers
  •     Antibiotics
  •     antimicrobial mouthwashto help prevent infection

You will have a follow-up appointment with the dental specialist 7-10 days after your surgery. During this appointment, the specialist will examine the surgical site and remove any stitches that have not dissolved independently. Sometimes, patients need to return a few more times for follow-up. There’s no need to worry. Your dental professional wants to make sure that you’re healing properly.

What are sinus lift complications ?

As with any surgery or procedure, some complications are associated with sinus lift surgery.

  •  The main risk is puncturing or tearing a sinus membrane. If this happens, the surgeon will either stitch the sinus tear or place a patch over it. If the repair to the sinus membrane is more complicated, your surgeon might stop the procedure and give you time to heal before trying again.
  • Infection is also a risk, as with any surgical procedure. However, it is uncommon to have an infection after sinus lift surgery.
  • In rare cases, the existing bone does not integrate with the bone graft material, so the grafted area cannot develop a blood supply. If this happens, you might have to undergo the sinus lift procedure again.
  • There is also the possibility of temporary inflammation of the membranes in your nose and sinuses. This condition makes it hard to drain mucus from your nose. Research shows that vigilance throughout the procedure helps keep the sinuses open.

    What is the cost of sinus lift surgery?

    Sinus lift surgery costs depend on your:

    • bone graft materials required
    • the complexity of the procedure
    • facility’s fees
    • area of the facility
    • physician’s fees

    The procedure costs may range from $1,500 to $5,000; Your doctor should review the standard fees with you before the procedure.

    If you have dental insurance, your insurance may pay for a portion of the procedure. Some people also choose financing options, such as payment plans with their dentist or financing through a medical financing company, to pay for the procedure.