Lateral sinus lift – What is it and why might you need it?
Not all patients are ideal candidates for dental implants. Some people may not have enough jaw bone and/or space available to accommodate a dental implant. But don’t worry – the experts at Grand Parkway Smiles have invested in highly specialized education and training to ensure that even those with poor bone structure can benefit from dental implants.
When other dentists are out of options, Grand Parkway Smiles offers a solution!
What is a lateral sinus lift?
The lateral sinus lift is a surgical procedure used by highly trained dental implant specialists to procure adequate bone for all on 4 purposes. The procedure is sometimes simply called a sinus graft – although there are different types of sinus grafts, including the lateral and vertical sinus lifts.
When and why do I need a lateral sinus lift?
Some patients who decide they want to get dental implants in the upper jaw need a little bit of prep work before dental implants have a chance to be successful. One of the most common issues why a patient may not be a candidate for upper jaw dental implants is bone loss. Because dental implants are permanently anchored in the jaw bone, it is important that adequate bone mass of sufficient strength is available to sustain a dental implant. Sometimes, however, this is not the case.
Bone loss and bone deterioration in the jaw can occur for a number of reasons. The most common include:
- Previous tooth extractions in which the missing tooth was not replaced by a dental implant: Bone mass in the jaw diminishes over time when not utilized to anchor a tooth (whether natural or artificial)
- Periodontal disease: Receding gums can cause bone mass to shrink
- Wearing dentures: Unlike dental implants, dentures do not utilize the jaw bone, thus causing it to deteriorate from non-use
- Deformities, tumors, trauma, and other conditions
Think of it as trying to place a screw into plain drywall without an anchor or a stud to provide a solid grip. The screw will simply push through the drywall without a stable base, making it quite unstable and, in many cases, unable to bear any weight at all. The same can happen to a dental implant that doesn’t have a solid foundation of bone for anchoring!
What is the procedure for a lateral sinus lift?
The purpose of a lateral sinus lift is to increase the amount of bone in the upper jaw. As we learned above, sufficient bone mass is critical to successful dental implants because they rely on osseointegration (bonding to the bone) in order to maximize functionality and sustain everyday chewing pressure.
During the lateral sinus lift surgery, your dental surgeon will make an incision in your gum to expose the sinus wall. He or she will then create a “window” to expose the sinus and the Schneiderian membrane, followed by a bone graft. The bone graft material is inserted into the newly created space before your dentist sutures the wound.
The procedure touts a 94% success rate as bone regenerates at the future dental implant site.
What happens after a lateral sinus lift?
A lateral sinus lift takes time to heal. In most cases, your Grand Parkway Smiles dental implant specialist will want to wait 6-9 months for the bone to regenerate and the surgical site to fully heal.
Meanwhile, gentle brushing is fine (after about a week after surgery), but we ask that you exercise caution when eating hard foods like nuts or carrots. Be cautious with the surgical site, as hard foods and intensive brushing may cause irritation; in the early stages following surgery, aggressive handling may cause the sutures to open.
Why choose Grand Parkway Smiles for a lateral sinus lift?
Not every dentist knows how to accommodate patients with bone loss. The lateral sinus lift is a highly specialized procedure only qualified dental surgeons can perform. As you shop around for a qualified dental implants provider, consider Grand Parkway Smiles, where we can accommodate patients who may not otherwise be eligible for dental implants due to bone loss.
Grand Parkway Smiles is committed to providing you with quality dental implants that last for decades.
Call (832) 222-0016 to schedule a dental implant consultation today!