A sinus lift, also referred to as a sinus augmentation, is performed by an oral surgeon to add bone mass to the upper portion of your jaw.
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A sinus lift is a very similar procedure to bone grafting. In this case, the upper jawbone is the area to be treated. The upper jaw is usually thinner than the lower, which makes it more difficult to insert dental implants.
Why? Just above your upper teeth are your ‘maxillary sinuses’, which are basically ‘air spaces’ in your jaw. Think of the sinus wall (or rear maxilla) as the ‘roof’ of your upper jaw. If this sinus wall is too thin then it is impossible to insert a dental implant as there is no solid foundation to hold it in place. The upper jaw will need to be built up via a bone graft in order to retain an implant.
Now we can bulk out the sinus wall by lifting the sinus membrane and then grafting donor bone onto the sinus wall. This will increase the depth and width of the sinus wall in preparation for the implants. The sinus wall will be given time to heal before a second procedure – insertion of the implants.