Sinus Floor Augmentation / Sinus Lift Procedure

Sinus Lift, Pasadena, CA

The maxillary sinuses are one of the four pairs of respiratory sinuses. They are located behind your cheekbones above the upper molar teeth. Our sinuses are essentially empty air filled compartments that may have some function in humidifying the air we breathe. Anatomically, the roots of the upper molar teeth frequently extend up into the floor of the maxillary sinuses. When these upper molar teeth are removed, there is often just a thin wall of bone separating the maxillary sinus and the mouth and in some cases the sinus floor can actually be perforated.

When dental implants are indicated in the upper molar areas the maxillary sinus may be a problem due to its proximity to the bony ridge. Dental implants need adequate bony depth to hold them in place. When the vertical distance from the ridge to the sinus floor is thin, it is impossible to place dental implants without augmenting this area.

There is a solution to this problem though. Sinus floor augmentation or a sinus lifting is a simple and predictable option to increase the thickness of the sinus floor for implant placement. The surgeon typically enters the sinus from the side through a small bony window. A membrane that lines the sinus is then gently lifted upward like a sheet and bone graft material frequently mixed with PRP (platelet rich plasma), BMP (bone morphogenic proteins), and/or Stem Cells is inserted under the membrane on top of the bony sinus floor. After 4 – 6 months of healing, the bone matures and becomes part of the patient’s upper jaw. Dental implants can be stably inserted and into this new bone. The sinus lift makes it possible for many patients to have dental implants when only a few years ago there was no other option other than wearing loose dentures.

If adequate bone between the upper jaw ridge and the bottom of the sinus is available to stabilize the implant(s), sinus augmentations and implant placement can be performed as a single procedure. If inadequate bone is available, the sinus augmentation will be performed first, then after the graft has mature for 4 – 6 months, the implants can be placed as a secondary procedure.

Sinus floor augmentation sounds complicated but it is in fact a very simple and routine procedure performed at The Pacific Coast Center for Oral, Facial and Cosmetic Surgery. Drs. Elias, Jun, Stephens and Verratti have performed thousands of these procedures over his 30 year career and has shown them to be highly predictable in stabilizing dental implants.

If you have questions about sinus floor augmentation. please give our office a call for an appointment and examination.

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