Loss of posterior teeth results in excessive forces being placed on your remaining teeth. Fortunately, the use of dental implants and crowns allows you to replace these missing teeth.
However, the position of the sinus in the upper posterior areas may be too low for proper placement of dental implants. When a posterior tooth has been missing for enough time or sufficient bone loss occurs near a missing posterior tooth, the sinus may droop into the resulting space. A simple procedure allows the sinus floor to be repositioned, creating enough space to properly place an implant. The sinus is gently teased away from the bone surrounding it, and various grafting materials are filled into the resulting hole. These grafting materials allow bone to grow in this space over time.
The bone that is generated in this place is then used for implant placement. After several months, when enough bone has grown in this area, a dental implant can be placed in this area without damaging the sinus membrane.
Commonly Asked Questions
Q: How long does a single implant procedure take?
A: The visit to perform the procedure is about an hour to an hour and a half. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled to check the area and ensure that adequate bone is growing in the grafted area.
Q: Will the implant procedure hurt?
A: Only local anesthetic is necessary to raise the sinus floor. During the visit, you will feel nothing once the area has been numbed. When the anesthetic wears off, there will be some mild discomfort. Medication will be prescribed to control any discomfort you might experience.
Q: How well does the sinus lift procedure work?
A: A sinus lift is highly predictable. It is important to realize that if the sinus lift does not result in enough bone for implant placement, additional bone may be regenerated through a second sinus lift at the time the implants are placed.
Q: Will I be able to resume my normal activities after the procedure?
A: It is recommended that you limit your physical activity for 48 hours after the procedure. This means not doing anything that will raise your heart rate such as lifting heavy objects, exercising, etc. The procedure should not cause you to miss work.
Q: Will I be able to drive myself home?
A: Unless you choose to take a relaxant, you should be able to drive yourself to and from your appointment. We are not going to impair your ability to drive.
Q: Will I be able to speak and eat normally after the procedure?
A: You should be able to speak normally after the anesthetic has worn off. It is best to wait until the anesthesia has worn off after surgery before eating. If you have trouble chewing, soft foods are recommended. Resume your normal diet as soon as possible; however, it is recommended that you avoid crunchy or spicy foods.
Q: How long do I have to wait after a sinus lift to have implants placed?
A: Depending on your individual situation, implants may be placed at the time of the sinus lift or 6-10 months after the sinus lift. This difference mostly depends on how much bone is present for the implant.