The maxillary sinuses are located behind your cheeks and on top of the upper teeth. Sinuses are like empty rooms that have nothing in them. 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.
A sinus graft or sinus lift graft is the corrective solution. The dental implant surgeon enters the sinus from where the upper teeth used to be. The sinus membrane is then lifted upward and donor bone is inserted into the floor of the sinus. Keep in mind that the floor of the sinus is the roof of the upper jaw. After several months of healing, the bone becomes part of the patient’s jaw and dental implants can be inserted and stabilized in this new sinus bone.
The sinus graft makes it possible for many patients to have dental implants when years ago there was no other option other than wearing loose dentures.
If enough bone between the upper jaw ridge and the bottom of the sinus is available to stabilize the implant well, sinus augmentations and implant placement can sometimes be performed as a single procedure. If enough bone is not available, the sinus augmentation will have to be performed first, and 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.
For Existing Sunshine Dental Patients - In the Event of a Dental Emergency Call: (315) 681-0100*
*We will try our best to return all calls, but we are not “on-call”. This number is intended to be a resource, and not a substitute for emergency care. If it is a true emergency, please contact your nearest emergency room.
315-779-8080 Fax: 315-779-8085 • 140 Eastern Blvd., Watertown, NY 13601 •