Sinus Lift Surgery
A sinus lift surgery, also known as a sinus augmentation, is an effective way to increase the amount of osseous (bony) tissue in the maxilla so that dental implantation can be successful. Sinus lift surgeries involve pushing against the maxillary sinus, one of two small chambers of air on either side of the nose, in order to create more space for the maxilla. The maxillary sinuses are lined with a membrane that separates the air and mucus within the sinus from the bony tissue outside. In a sinus lift surgery, a dentist will press against the lower portion of this membrane, compressing the maxillary sinus and opening more room into which the maxilla can expand.
There are several ways to complete a successful sinus lift surgery. In one version of the procedure, a dentist will cut and pull away the gum that separates the thin region of the maxilla from the rest of the mouth. Then, a small circle will be cut into the exposed bone. Because the membrane of the maxillary sinus is attached to the bone, as the circle is pressed upward, the membrane will detach, forming an empty space between the maxilla and the sinus itself. This space will then be filled with bone graft, which can come from a few different sources. A sample from the patient’s own jaw or ilium (hip bone) can be taken prior to the sinus lift surgery and ground up; this is known as an autograft. Alternatively, bone can be taken from a cadaver (constituting an allograft) or from another animal such as a cow (a xenograft), or an artificial but biocompatible bony tissue may be used for the sinus lift surgery. The bone graft flakes are inserted into this space, the hole in the bone is sealed, and the gum is replaced. After several months, the bone graft will have been assimilated by the body, forming a structurally sound component of the maxilla. From there, a titanium base can be drilled into the new bone, which will be able to serve as the permanent home for a new dental implant once the tissue heals a second time.
Are you looking for an experienced dentist to perform your sinus lift surgery? Please call our Buffalo office today for a free consultation.