Madison Periodontics & Implantology
Dr. Fanasy P. Jefcoat
Board Certified Periodontist

Sinus Augmentation

A dental implant is essentially an artificial tooth root which is attached to the jaw bone.  Eventually, a replacement tooth or bridge will be firmly fixed to this root, restoring complete function to the tooth.  The key to a successful and long-lasting implant is the quality and quantity of jawbone to which the implant will be attached.  

The sinuses are air-filled spaces that are situated just above the tooth roots of the upper back molars.  If these teeth have bone loss due to periodontal disease or the teeth have been missing for several years, the bone in this area dissolves away considerably.  If considering placing dental implants in this area, a sinus augmentation may be required in order to replace the missing bone in order for implants to be stabalized in this area.  Sinus augmentation is a procedure that can raise the sinus floor by placing bone graft materials into the sinus which will allow for new bone formation and more bone support for dental implants.

There are two ways to perform a sinus augmentation procedure:

  • Osteotome sinus lift - This type of sinus lift can be performed at the same time as the implant placement if only a small amount of extra bone (4mm or less) needs to be added to the floor of the sinus in order to completely cover the implant. 
  • Lateral window sinus augmentation - If there is a significant amount of bone loss or destruction, this type of sinus lift may be necessary.  An incision is made near the upper molar region to expose the jawbone.  A small opening is cut into the sinus wall and the membrane lining the sinus cavity is gently pushed upward.  The underlying space is filled with bone graft material and the incision is closed.  Usually six months is required for proper bone healing after which time dental implants can be placed.  

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