The maxillary sinuses are located right above the upper posterior teeth and are empty cavernous structures. Some of the roots of the upper teeth extend into the sinus. When these teeth are extracted, the bone left behind can be just a thin ridge. In order to place an implant in a case like this, the bone between the mouth and the maxillary sinus may need to be augmented with a sinus graft or sinus lift.
In this procedure, Dr. Mabry will gently reflect the tissue above the upper teeth and enter the sinus this way. The sinus membrane is gently lifted and bone graft material along with growth factors are packed into the space. This effectively increases the height of the bony ridge into which Dr. Mabry can insert an implant after it is fully healed. The gingival tissue is gently placed over the area and sutured into place.
A sinus lift makes it possible for many patients whose teeth were extracted years ago and have been suffering from wearing loose fitting dentures to consider dental implants.
After the sinus lift procedure, Dr. Mabry waits 6 months before proceeding with placement of implants into the area. This will allow time for the bone to fully heal and integrate with the area.