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For those patients who want to replace teeth, they have lost in their premolar, and upper molar areas of their mouth will usually need dental implants. The dental implants will require enough bone that is thick enough to stabilize and then fully integrate with the rest of their bone for an implant. A sinus augmentation, or sinus lift, is a procedure that can increase the density of bone.
Your premolars and upper molars many times have inadequate depth of bone after losing a tooth for two reasons that are common. In all areas of the mouth, there is a vast amount of bone loss because the tooth socket starts to collapse as it is healing. Then, the floor of the sinuses that lie above the upper molars, seem to expand when your body senses the loss of a tooth. The expansion therein will replace the existing bone. If there is not enough bone to securely place a dental implant, then a sinus lift will be necessary to help form the additional depth of bone.
Before the beginning of the procedure, a local anesthetic is given to numb the site entirely. The dentist will make a window, or an opening, in the bone so he can access your sinus cavity. The Dentist can then lift the sinus floor away from the bone. In this new space that lays between the existing bone and sinus, the Dentist will place a bone graft that holds the sinus in a more favorable spot. When the procedure is over, the doctor will put a membrane over that window to protect the graft while it heals. The gums are then placed into their original position and closed by sutures over the membrane. There will be some cases when the Dentist puts the implant in place during the procedure for the sinus lift.
It will take the next four to eight months for the bone graft that is acting as a template for the new and natural bone to fill in. The grafting material that was placed will mesh with the existing bone and create additional bone for the new implant.