In order to help more patients experience the life-changing benefits of dental implants, the doctors at Northern Colorado Periodontics in Fort Collins, CO, can increase bone mass in the upper jaw by performing a sinus lift. This procedure can create a firm foundation for your dental implants to prevent implant posts from penetrating the sinus cavity. Although the procedure will increase total treatment time, it is often an important step to ensure the success rate of your implants treatment. Both Dr. Nicolas Shumaker can perform a sinus lift procedure and dental implant placement at our state-of-the-art facility, streamlining your care and eliminating the need for an outside specialist.
What is a Sinus Lift?
The upper jaw above the back molars is one of the more difficult areas to place dental implants, due to the small distance between your jawbone and sinus cavity. In order for dental implants to be successful, they need adequate jawbone to fuse with through osseointegration. However, losing the upper molars can immediately lead to tooth loss and sinus expansion. If patients wait too long to replace missing teeth in their upper jaw, a sinus lift can become necessary. During a sinus lift, the doctor will take grafted bone from a donor or another area of your body, and surgically insert it between the sinus membrane and jawbone to create healthy bone regrowth in the upper jaw.
Who is a Good Candidate?
Candidates for this procedure include patients with insufficient bone mass and a weak upper jaw due to:
- Gum disease
- Failed tooth extractions
- Trauma or injury to the jawbone
- Large sinus cavities or thin sinus walls
- Extended period of tooth loss
Dr. Shumaker will perform a detailed examination of your jawbone, any remaining teeth, and facial structure during an initial consultation using the latest dental technology. Because each patient is different, this process is necessary to create a treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. Your doctor will also take the time to answer any questions or concerns you may have, the costs involved, and the overall treatment and recovery process.
The Sinus Lift Procedure
On the day of your sinus lift surgery, we will administer any necessary sedation and a local anesthetic for optimal comfort throughout your procedure. Dr. Shumaker will then use a tissue graft from a donor or your own bone, such as the hip, chin, or tibia. In order to reach your sinus membrane, your doctor will make a small incision in the side of your gums where the bone loss has occurred. They will carefully create a space in the bone to gently lift the sinus membrane and insert the bone graft material. Once the graft is in place, Dr. Shumaker closes any incisions with dissolvable sutures. The length of the procedure will depend on the amount of bone grafting required, but in most cases it takes about one to two hours.
What to Expect During Recovery
It is not uncommon to experience some swelling, bleeding, and soreness for the first week after the procedure. Dr. Shumaker will provide you with prescription medications, saline spray, antibacterial mouthwash, and detailed at-home care instructions to follow to ensure the grafted material is not disturbed and you experience a smooth recovery. While you will only experience a couple of days of downtime, the overall recovery can take anywhere from four to nine months. Once the graft has fully healed, you can receive your dental implants to rebuild your smile.
At Northern Colorado Periodontics, our highly experienced doctors can provide all stages of treatment using precise techniques to ensure your comfort.
Rebuild Your Jaw
To learn more about sinus lifts, bone grafting, and the overall dental implant placement, contact our office online or by calling (970) 207-4061 to schedule your consultation. At Northern Colorado Periodontics, our highly experienced doctors can provide all stages of treatment using precise techniques to ensure your comfort.