Sinus Elevation


There are five pairs of sinus cavities in the skull, of which the most important are the maxillary sinuses. These hollow spaces are located inside the bone above the upper back teeth and below the eye sockets. When the upper back teeth are missing, normally the premolars and molars, the maxillary sinus cavity expands and drops, changing the location to the jaw bone in the area of the missing teeth.

This is called pneumatisation. This can still happen if the teeth are still present as sometimes the bone is not tall enough to accommodate the length of dental implants.

Sinus Grafting / Sinus Lift or Sinus Elevation

The process of sinus grafting involves the dentist surgically lifting the base of the sinus cavity so that bone grafting can take place in between. This will then stimulate bone growth.

This procedure is normally a preliminary surgery that prepares for the placement of dental implants. It can also be performed at the same time as the implant procedure. This can only be the case if there is adequate amount of bone to hold the implants in place whilst they stabilise. This procedure should always be thoroughly discussed with the surgeon as alternative methods may be available.

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Osteotome Sinus Lift

An osteotome sinus lift can be used as an alternative procedure to sinus grafting. This increases the height of the bone located under the maxillary sinuses. A tiny amount of bone will be left under the sinus cavity at the same place the implant will be placed. Osteotomes, which are blunt instruments, are used to move the bone that remains upwards along with the lining of the sinus cavity. The floor of the sinus is therefore raised but only in the area where the implant will take place. This ensures that a longer implant of adequate size can be used to improve stability and functionality.