Improve Your Candidacy for Dental Implants with a Sinus Lift Procedure
Tooth loss that has been unaddressed for an extended period of time may leave patients with inadequate bone tissue in the upper jaw to support dental implants. In our Victoria, TX, periodontal practice, Dr. Rick H. Heard can help patients restore their candidacy for dental implants by performing a sinus lift procedure that raises the sinus membrane and complete bone grafting to supplement the lost or shrunken bone. At Gulf Coast Periodontics, our team values professionalism and friendliness. We take pride in providing our community with cutting-edge periodontal care.
What is a Sinus Lift?
When an back tooth is lost or extracted from the upper dental arch, it is possible for the sinus cavity to drop down and fill the void left behind by the missing tooth root. Among all teeth replacement options, dental implants are the most successful, longest-lasting solution. However, placement of an implant is not possible if the sinus is too low. In these cases, a sinus lift must be performed. It must be pointed out that while a sinus lift does not guarantee dental implant candidacy, it offers the best chance of success and the most predictable option.
A sinus lift procedure is commonly used in dentistry and can provide effective and predictable results.
To lift the sinus, the membrane is carefully raised back into its proper location. The void underneath is filled with bone grafting material to keep the sinus in place and to restore the jawbone structure. If feasible, the bone may be harvested from another area of the mouth; however, donor or synthetic bone is often purchased from a tissue bank. This material will serve as a matrix to encourage bone regeneration. After several months of healing, your jawbone should be able to accommodate a dental implant.
Sinus Lift Treatment Process
A sinus lift procedure is commonly used in dentistry and can provide effective and predictable results. When you undergo a sinus lift procedure at Gulf Coast Periodontics, you can expect your treatment to include:
- Anesthesia: Sedation options will be discussed during your initial consultation. If you choose IV sedation, the medications will be administered by one of our on-site anesthesiologists to help you relax. Local anesthesia will be used to numb the gums and surrounding tissues.
- Access: Once you are comfortable, Dr. Heard will make a small incision in the gums through which he can access the sinus membrane.
- Sinus Lift: Once the sinus membrane is located, it will be carefully lifted to its original position using special instruments and precise techniques.
- Bone Graft: With the sinus membrane in its correct position, bone grafting material will be added underneath to provide support for the sinus and fill the void.
- Stitches: The surgical site will be closed with stitches to protect the area and promote healing.
Recovery Following a Sinus Lift
Immediately following the sinus lift procedure, place gauze over the surgical site and bite down with firm, steady pressure for at least 30 minutes. Repeat this process as necessary and directed by Dr. Heard. Though you will experience slight oozing of blood and saliva, excessive bleeding is not normal. Any excessive bleeding from the surgical site or the nose should be reported immediately. Swishing or spitting should be avoided for at least 72 hours to avoid disturbing the blood clot.
Prescriptions for antibiotics, pain medication, and a decongestant will be given to you. It is important to take all medications exactly as directed. This is essential for proper healing and will significantly reduce the chance of post-operative complications.
Do not brush around the site for at least 48 hours. You may continue normal dental hygiene in areas not affected by the surgery. An antibacterial mouthwash may be used to gently soak the area. Do not swish the rinse until your sutures have been removed.
Swelling and bruising is to be expected. A cold compress can be applied to the external surface of the surgical area in 30-minute increments. Continue this process as much as possible during the first 48 hours. You may also take over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen to reduce discomfort and swelling.
Avoid smoking at all costs, as it can cause the sinus lift to fail. Do not drink through a straw for at least three days. Do not exercise or perform any heavy lifting for at least 72 hours. Anything you can do to minimize movement is beneficial.
Sedation Options for Your Comfort
At Gulf Coast Periodontics, we are extremely fortunate to have two board-certified anesthesiologists on our team. Dr. Derrick Garrett and Dr. Steve Janececk are here to help you choose a sedation option that is right for you. By carefully monitoring you throughout your procedure, our anesthesiologists will make sure you are relaxed and comfortable.
Schedule a Consultation
To find out if a sinus lift procedure is right for you and can improve your candidacy for dental implants, make an appointment with Dr. Heard. Contact us online, or call our office at (361) 573-1014 to speak with a member of our staff and schedule your consultation.