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Home Sinus Lift Ridge Augmentation

Sinus Augmentation (Sinus Lift)

A sinus augmentation – or "sinus lift" – is a surgical procedure that may be recommended for patients who need to increase bone amount and density in the maxillary sinus floor above the alveolar ridge of the upper jaw.

What Is A Sinus Augmentation?

Sinus augmentation, also referred to as a "sinus lift," is one of the most commonly performed bone grafting procedures for patients with bone loss in the upper jaw (maxilla). The goal of the procedure is to grow bone in the floor of the maxillary sinus above the alveolar ridge - the bony ridge of the gumline that anchors the teeth in the upper jaw.

Learn more about dental bone grafts.

Learn about the anatomy of the jaw.

Sinus augmentation surgery often is recommended when the patient wants to replace teeth with dental implants in the maxillary arch. Dental implants require a certain amount of bone height to support the base of the implant.

A sinus lift may be an appropriate oral surgery option for a patient who is:

  • Missing more than one tooth in the posterior maxilla;
  • Missing a large amount of bone in the posterior maxilla;
  • Missing teeth due a congenital (present at birth) defect or condition; or
  • Missing most of the maxillary teeth and need firm anchorage for multiple implants.

Read about the potential causes of jaw bone loss.

Learn why teeth are important for maintaining bone mass.

How Is This Oral Surgery Done?

There are many ways for a surgeon to perform a sinus lift. In one of the most common ways, the oral surgeon makes an incision in the gum (gingiva), and gently pulls the gum tissue back. The surgeon then cuts an oval window in the buccal cortex (the side towards the cheek) to expose the sinus membrane, which is then lifted from the bony sinus floor to create a space for bone graft material. The bone graft material is then placed in the space, and its purpose is to help the body grow bone and form a thicker sinus floor.

Once the bone graft site has healed, the jaw bone below the sinus may be prepared for a dental implant or other dental restoration.

A sinus augmentation is generally performed in the dental office under local anesthesia; however, some patients also may request oral or intravenous sedative medication, as well.  One of the primary advantages of INFUSE® Bone Graft is that it eliminates the need to perform a second surgery to harvest bone from another location in your body.  By eliminating this second site, the patient is exposed to less anesthesia, and will not have the potential complications such as pain, numbness and swelling from the area of the second surgery.

What Can I Expect After Oral Surgery?

All treatment and outcome results are specific to the individual patient and results may vary. The entire process, from tooth extraction to final dental implant placement, may take up to a year.

Your surgeon will have a specific recovery plan for you to follow after your procedure. Please follow his or her instructions carefully to maximize your potential for a successful outcome.

Are There Any Potential Risks Or Complications?

As with any surgery, surgical treatment to promote bone growth in the jaw is not without risk. A variety of complications related to surgery or the use of INFUSE® Bone Graft may occur, either alone or in combination. Some of these may be severe and affect your outcome. Additional surgery also may be required to correct these complications.

Some possible complications include:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Death
  • Development of respiratory problems
  • Ectopic and/or exuberant bone formation
  • Edema (swelling)
  • Erythematous tissue
  • Fetal development complications
  • Hematoma
  • Incisional complications
  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Itching
  • Pain
  • Scar formation
  • Tissue or nerve damage

To learn more about INFUSE® Bone Graft, talk to your dental surgeon.

The materials on this Web site are for your general educational information only. Information you read on this Web site cannot replace the relationship that you have with your health care professional. We do not practice medicine or provide medical services or advice as a part of this Web site. You should always talk to your health care professional for diagnosis and treatment.

  • Published: January 23, 2007
  • Updated: July 07, 2011