In the upper jaw there are 2 air filled areas known as the maxillary sinus. The Maxillary sinus is located lateral to the nose; it is responsible for humidifying the air that is respired. With age the maxillary sinus can increase in size, this process is called pneumatization. When the sinushangs lower it encroaches upon the available bone for dental implants. This process can be reversed with maxillary sinus lifts.
There are 2 surgical procedures to increase bone height. The first method is called the direct or lateral sinus lift. This surgical procedure involves lifting the gum, creating a bony window to gain access to the sinus and then gently lifting the sinus tissue. Once the sinus tissue is raised bone graft is placed within the space created. This method is performed when there is less than 8mm of available bone height. The second method, called vertical or indirect sinus lift involves tapping the existing bone superiorly and placing a supplemental amount of bone graft to support the area lifted. With both methods of lifting, it takes approximately 4-6 months for the bone graft to solidify.
During the sinus lift procedure, a surgeon is also able to place the implant at the same time to decrease the treatment length. With your surgeon having this capability you can decrease the treatment duration by 3 months. However, this has to be performed when the correct circumstance exist.
Recovery from sinus lift surgery involves approximately 3-5 days of rest depending on the individual. Some patients are able to bounce back within a day or two. Dr. Benjamin Yagoubian recommends sinus precaution as well to promote better healing. Dr. Benjamin Yagoubian is well versed in complex bone grafting and sinus lift procedures.