While dental implants are a viable and effective solution for tooth replacement, adequate bone quality and quantity are essential for proper placement. As we age and when teeth are lost in the posterior aspect of the upper arch, the maxillary sinus cavity can expand. This can limit available bone. Additionally, bone loss around teeth can be a factor. When there is insufficient bone height for implant placement, a sinus augmentation may be an option. This procedure can raise the sinus floor, allowing for new bone formation.
There are two techniques in regard to performing sinus augmentation.
A Vertical Sinus Lift can be performed in cases when the amount of lift required is not substantial. The sinus membrane is gently lifted through the implant preparation site. Bone grafting material is inserted. The implant is then placed.
A Horizontal Sinus Lift is required when a more significant amount of bone is needed. A small window is created in the bone above the missing tooth. The sinus membrane is delicately lifted and the underlying space is filled with bone grafting material. The window is then closed. The implants are placed after a healing period of several months.
These procedures allow for successful dental implants in upper areas that may not be viable without additional bone.