If you’re thinking about getting dental implants, there’s a good chance your dentist has mentioned the possibility of a sinus lift. You’re not alone! Over one in five dental implant recipients need a nasal lift. Our team at Dental Partners of Boston knows that being told you may need bone grafts or a sinus lift for your dental implants can seem overwhelming at first. Understanding why you need them, what’s involved in the procedure and what to expect from consultation to recovery is a very important part of the process. If you’re looking for dental implants in Boston, read the information below on sinus lifts and if you have more questions please schedule an appointment with our dental implant specialists.
The “Sinus Floor Augmentation Procedure,” or more commonly known as a “Sinus Lift,” is a technique developed to allow dental surgeons to place dental implants when the option would otherwise be impossible. Over time the sinus bone can thin out, which can lack the structure and strength needed for placing dental implants in the upper portion of your mouth.
A sinus lift is essentially a bone graft. While bone grafts of any kind are to be taken seriously and performed by trusted, experienced specialists, they are a well-known procedure and generally considered to be safe and highly effective. While all surgery carries a certain level of risk, the sinus lift has been performed all over the world with predictable and consistent results. It is important to understand that any discomforts experienced from a sinus lift procedure and recovery time are temporary. Being able to use dental implants, however, will give you the freedom to consume normal healthy foods, a difference that has the potential to improve the quality of your life and health significantly.
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Do You Need A Sinus Lift?
Some of our patients have a hard time understanding why they need a bone graft surgery when they feel no discomfort or experience no adverse effects throughout their daily routine. The upper area of your mouth requires a certain amount of space for a molar dental implant. When that space is insufficient, a sinus lift is needed before dental implants can be placed. The maxillary sinus grows over time, lowering and thinning out, becoming more connected with the upper jaw bone. While this process can happen naturally, most often, the process is accelerated by missing molars that have been absent for many years.
New to Boston, searching for a good dentist. Three unfortunate fillings turned in to a very positive experience at Dental Partners of Boston! This is now my dentist office.
Effects Of Lost Teeth
Everyone’s bone structure is different, however, if you lost some or many of your upper molars early on in your life, you will most likely need a sinus lift to correct the bone structure. Once a tooth is lost, the bone that once held it immediately begins to fill the space. When a tooth is absent to begin with, such as if it was removed due to decay, overcrowding, missing due to physical trauma, the jawbone will begin to fill in the empty space resulting in a thinner, more shallow jawbone. This isn’t always a problem when the absence of a tooth is quickly addressed. Given enough time, however, it can become complicated, if not impossible, to install a dental implant into that section of the jawbone. When our dental experts come across this type of scenario, they often turn to a sinus lift to provide ample surface and strength for the new dental implant so you have a solid foundation to keep your implants for a lifetime..
It is not uncommon to be missing teeth and certainly nothing that should embarrass you to the point where you avoid seeking professional help. You’re not alone, and we are here to help you without judgment. While adults in 20-34-year-old age group have an average of 27 original adult teeth, by the time adults reach the 50-year-old mark, there are on average 22 original remaining teeth. Missing teeth often makes patients feel self-conscious about their smile, more importantly, though it can also make it challenging to talk correctly and chew properly. Even some patients avoid hard foods that causes pain when they try to consume them.
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Understanding The Maxillary Sinus
The presence of the maxillary sinus in the upper back jawbone is the reason why this area is the most complicated and challenging area to install dental implants successfully. Hollow spaces behind your upper jawbone, known as sinuses, can affect the strength and position of that portion of the jawbone. Traditionally, teeth in the upper back jaw have dental roots that extend into the sinus. But if these teeth fall out, the bone around them can resorb, leaving little to no bone to anchor dental implants. The goal of sinus lift surgery is to bolster the strength of the bone near the maxillary sinuses to create a robust and stable structure for implants. Dental implants are only as strong as the bone used to support the titanium posts that act as your new tooth roots, which is the cause for needing a bone grafting or a sinus lift before receiving them.
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What To Expect During A Sinus Lift
Sinus lifts allow patients with deteriorated upper jaws, small jaws, or large sinuses to be eligible for dental implants. Sinus lifts can help patients with extensive previous bone loss caused by periodontal disease, cancer treatment, or trauma. Recovery from sinus lift surgery is straightforward, and typically involves a minimal amount of discomfort.
To decide whether or not you need a sinus lift, our team of specialists will measure the bone thickness surrounding your molar roots using a series of x-ray images. Once it is decided that a sinus lift is in your best interest and you and your dentist agree to move forward with the procedure, your gums and jaw tissue will be numbed with a local anesthetic. Next, a small incision will be made near where the upper dental implants will be placed. The sinus membrane will then be lifted through the floor of the sinus. Special gels and bone graft granules are inserted into the empty space. Once this step has been completed successfully, the gum tissue will then be sewn shut, and the healing process will begin. It will take several months but your bodies natural healing ability will replace the inserted material to form new and stronger bone. While the procedure has been performed for many years and the method tried and true, new and less invasive procedures are continually evolving. Your Dental Partners of Boston specialist will walk you through exactly how the procedure will work for your unique situation.
Sinus Lift Surgery Recovery
Every patient heals differently, and some patients require more extensive work, but on average between 4-12 months are needed for the graft and bone to heal fully. The healing process might seem slow, but it is absolutely necessary to lay the framework for strong, dental implants. In some rare instances, sinus lifts may be performed at the same time dental implant posts are installed, which can shorten the timeframe for receiving your final dental implants.
After you have a chance to visit with our specialists, we’re confident you’ll understand why our team is rated as one of the best dental offices in Boston for nearly any procedure. Getting a sinus lift in Boston is no exception. Come in and see the difference that exceptional skill and experience can make in a complex procedure. Our professional and friendly staff would love to meet you and explore how we can give you the smile and oral health that you deserve!
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800 Boylston St., 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02199
46 Farnsworth Street
Boston, MA 02210
50 Staniford Street #303
Boston, MA 02114