Sinus Lift Surgery: Frequently Asked Questions

Sinus lift surgery, also called sinus augmentation or subantral grafting, adds bone tissue to the upper jaw in the region of the molars and premolars.

Sinus Lift Surgery: Frequently Asked Questions

Because the upper jawbone is close to the maxillary sinuses, subantral graft surgery requires the expertise of a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

When Is Sinus Lift Surgery Necessary?

Sinus augmentation is usually a pre-prosthetic surgery, done to prepare for dental implants.

Patients who need a sinus lift have insufficient bone in the upper jaw to support dental implants. Once a tooth is knocked out or extracted, the surrounding bone begins to degenerate. Eventually, the jaw may not have enough space for replacement tooth roots.

In some cases, the need for sinus augmentation isn’t related to bone loss. The shape and size of the maxillary sinuses vary from person to person. When the sinuses are too close to the jawbone, subantral graft surgery may be required to get dental implants.

How Is Sinus Lift Surgery Performed?

Sinus augmentation involves placing bone tissue between the jawbone and the maxillary sinus. The grafting material may be taken from the patient, but oral and maxillofacial surgeons can also transplant natural human, bovine or porcine bone from a tissue bank. Or, as an alternative, they can use synthetic materials.

Subantral graft surgery is performed through a tiny incision near the molar or premolar region. The membrane lining the sinus is gently pushed away from the jaw and the bone-grafting material is placed in the space under the membrane.

What Is Sinus Lift Recovery Like?

Immediately following subantral graft surgery, patients can expect some swelling and discomfort. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and ice packs can typically alleviate these symptoms. An antibiotic and antimicrobial mouthwash may also be prescribed to help prevent infection.

In 7 to 10 days, patients need to return to the oral and maxillofacial surgeon for a follow-up. At this time, any stitches that haven’t dissolved are removed and the sinus augmentation site is evaluated for proper healing.

Six to nine months after subantral graft surgery, dental implants can be placed. Though most patients would prefer to have their replacement teeth sooner, the wait is necessary to allow the bone graft to integrate with the jawbone.

OMS Can Help You with Your Bone Graft

Has your dentist or oral surgeon told you that you might need a sinus lift? For expert care in the greater Salt Lake City area, visit Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah.

Our board-certified oral surgeons, Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield, have the skill, knowledge and experience to successfully complete complex bone grafting procedures such as sinus augmentation. And after helping patients in northern Utah for over a decade, our oral surgery team knows the importance of compassionate care.

Contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office today to schedule a consultation to discuss sinus lift surgery.