A sinus lift is a procedure that moves the sinus membrane upward, allowing your oral surgeon to augment the amount of bone in the upper jaw.
Sinus lifts take place in the rear of the mouth near the molars, as the upper jaw typically
doesn’t have as much bone as the lower jaw, and tooth loss is likely to increase the loss of bone in these areas.
If you’re missing a tooth and want to be considered for a dental implant, how can you know if you’ll need a sinus lift beforehand? Here are a few reasons why someone might need a sinus lift before dental implant treatment.
You’ve Been Missing Teeth for a While
People who have been missing teeth in their upper jaw are more likely to have lost bone over a period of time.
The roots of our teeth are constantly stimulating our jaw bone, allowing it to stay strong and healthy. For people who have missing teeth, the jaw bone is no longer being stimulated, and the body begins to reabsorb it as a result.
Once teeth are lost and alveolar bone—the bone that supports the teeth—is lost, it can’t be regenerated, although you can grow new bone with the application of dental implants . However, in order for dental implants to be successfully placed, there must be enough bone in the jaw to support the implant initially.
You’ve Had Gum Disease
If you’ve had gum disease at some point in the past, especially if it was a more aggressive form, you may have sustained bone loss in your jaw. In addition, people who have advanced gum disease are more likely to lose teeth as a result.
While people who have active gum disease will need to receive treatment before they can qualify for dental implants, this doesn’t mean that gum disease hasn’t already impacted the bone in your jaw. Only your dentist can tell with x-rays what the state of your alveolar bone is.
Fortunately, sinus lifts can greatly increase the success of dental implants in patients with lacking jaw bone .
Your Maxillary Sinus Is Too Close to the Jaw
Everyone’s sinuses are shaped differently. If the size and shape of the maxillary sinus—the sinuses closest the nose—are too close to the upper jaw, you may not be able to get dental implants without a sinus lift, even if you do have enough bone in your jaw to support a dental implant.
Sinus lifts are often the best choice for people who aren’t able to get shorter dental implants . Your dentist can let you know what your options are based on your exam and x-rays during your consultation for dental implants.
While dental implants are an excellent choice for missing teeth, without enough supporting bone, the implant is more likely to fail. Your dentist or oral surgeon will make the best recommendation for you to ensure your dental implant procedure is as successful as possible.
Ask your dentist if you’ll need a sinus lift before qualifying for dental implants during your next appointment!