The bones that support the upper teeth make up parts of the maxillary sinuses found in the cheekbones. These bones are naturally very thin and when teeth are removed, go missing or other causes lead to bone deterioration in this area, these already fragile bones become even more delicate and are too weak to support the placement of dental implants.
A sinus lift, also known as a sinus augmentation, is a special procedure performed by Dr. Howard and Dr. Andrus. It helps to strengthen and reinforce the upper bones allowing for dental implant placement while also preserve the structural integrity of the face.
Dr. Howard and Dr. Andrus perform sinus lift procedures in our Longmont office, under local anesthesia. Oral or intravenous sedative medication may be an option as well if needed.
Through a small incision in the premolar or molar region, an opening is created. Through this opening, the sinus membrane can be pushed upwards and bone grafting material can be injected to fill in the empty space to aid in new bone formation. The incision is sutured up and healing can begin. Once healed, dental implants can be placed and supported in the newly formed sinus bone.
Dental implants were rarely a possibility for those missing upper teeth, the best option was ill-fitting dentures. Since the advent of sinus lifts, however, many more can now enjoy the beauty and function of dental implants.