Sinus Lift, San Francisco CA

Contact us at San Francisco Office Phone Number 415-813-6400 for more information.

What is a Sinus Lift?

The maxillary sinuses are behind your cheeks and on top of the upper teeth. These sinuses are empty, air-filled spaces that humidify the air prior to entering our lungs.  Typically 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.

The key to a successful and long-lasting dental implant is the quality and quantity of jawbone to which the implant will be attached. If bone loss has occurred due to injury or periodontal disease, a sinus augmentation can raise the sinus floor and allow for new bone formation. A sinus lift is one of the most common bone grafting procedures for patients with bone loss in the upper jaw. The procedure seeks to grow bone in the floor of the maxillary sinus above the bony ridge of the gum line that anchors the teeth in the upper jaw. By strengthening and growing bone in this location, dental implants can be placed and secured in the new bone growth.

Am I a Candidate for a Sinus Lift Procedure?

A sinus lift may be necessary if you:

  • are missing more than one tooth in the back of your jaw.
  • are missing a significant amount of bone in the back of your jaw.
  • had a long-standing infection in a posterior tooth that led to additional bone loss.
  • are missing most of the maxillary teeth, but require support for dental implants.

How is this Oral Surgery Accomplished?

In the most common sinus augmentation procedure, a small intra-oral incision is made on the premolar or molar region to expose the jawbone.  Through this small opening a membrane lining is placed in order to push the sinus lining upwards.  Afterwards the underlying space is filled with bone grafting material, either from your own body or from other resources. Sometimes, synthetic materials that can imitate bone formation are used. After the bone is implanted, the incision is stitched up and the healing process begins. Typically after 6 months of healing, the bone is fully healed and becomes part of the patient’s upper jaw.  It is only at this time that dental implants can be inserted and stabilized in this new sinus bone.

If the bone level is borderline,  sometimes the sinus lift and implant placement can be performed at the same time.  If not enough bone is available, the sinus augmentation will have to be performed first, 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.

The sinus graft makes it possible for many patients to have dental implants when years ago there was no other option besides wearing loose dentures.

A sinus augmentation is generally performed at Dr. Massoomi’s office, under intravenous sedation for your comfort and best surgical outcome.