What Is a Sinus Lift and Why Might I Need It?

One of the things the midwest is best known for is the friendly people. Tourists come from miles around to experience the smiles and hospitality of neighborly Michigan. That means that having a smile to be proud of when you’re out and about is important. For many people, dental implants help them get the pearly whites of their dreams. 

The road to dental implants can include quite a few steps, and one of those possible steps is a sinus lift. William Schiro, DDS and his team at the Michigan Maxillofacial Surgery and Implant Center help patients navigate their oral surgery needs from consultation to procedure and then to aftercare. 

What is a Sinus Lift?

A sinus lift is a bone-grafting procedure performed to add bone to the upper jaw in preparation for dental implants, as well as to gain more space. A bone graft helps to stimulate new bone growth and adds new bone in one of a few different ways. 

New bone may be harvested from another part of the patient’s body — in this case, typically the chin, hip, or a different part of the jaw. In other instances, bone from a cadaver or artificial bone is used for the graft. 

While there are several types of bone grafting procedures that Dr. Schiro may use in his work, the sinus lift specifically deals with the molars, or back teeth. 

Am I a Good Candidate for a Sinus Lift?

There are many factors that determine if someone is a good candidate for a sinus lift. Typically, patients who have bone loss in the jaw or have missing or damaged teeth may be well suited. When a patient visits us here at the Center, we will go through a complete medical and dental history, as well as ordering X-rays and completing an oral exam to make our determination. 

How is a Sinus Lift Performed?

During the consultation for the sinus lift, Dr. Schiro and his team discuss the best type of anesthesia for you. This procedure can be done with a local anesthetic or under IV sedation, depending on the needs and preferences of the patients. 

Dr. Schiro will make an incision in the gum, pushing the gum back so the sinus can be manipulated. He’ll pull the sinus gently away from the bone, and he’ll place a graft between the sinus and the gum. He’ll then close up the gum with sutures. 

Healing and Aftercare

For the first two days or so after a sinus lift, it’s best that you take it easy. You should also avoid operating heavy machinery or driving. During those days, you’ll be taking over-the-counter pain relievers and antibiotics prescribed by Dr. Schiro. Some patients may experience some minor swelling in the face, which can be relieved by alternating between placing an ice pack on the face for 20 minutes and then removing it for 20 minutes. 

Pain and swelling should be gone after two to three days at most, at which time you’ll be able to resume your normal activities. Keep in mind that the total healing time before a dental implant can be placed may be between six months and one year. 

For more information about sinus lifts, and to determine if the lifts or other bone grafting procedures are right for your dental needs, contact Dr. Schiro or call the office location convenient to you.

Lansing, MI location 517-699-2700

St Johns, MI location 989-224-8911

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