Sinus lifting is a procedure performed by an oral surgeon or specialist. The procedure is designed to augment or "lift" bone height at the top of the jaw. This increase of bone mass enhances the ability of a dentist to install dental implants in an individual whose loss of teeth, or facial bone structure does not allow enough space for such implants. A sinus lift is also known as sinus augmentation, which increases bone in the molar area. In most cases, individuals who have lost their teeth suffer from a smaller or more narrowed sinus cavity that doesn't leave any room or enough bone for implant insertion.
The Sinus Lift Procedure
The sinus lift procedure utilizes bone taken from other areas of the patient's body, most commonly the iliac crest, or hip bone, or the use of artificial bone grafting materials. In a sinus lift, the oral surgeon literally lifts a membrane that covers the sinus cavity into which bone tissue can be transplanted.
In most cases, the sinus lift procedure will be performed prior to a dental implant, but in some cases, both procedures may be performed at the same time. At its most basic description, a sinus lift adds bone to the upper jaw bone in the molar or pre molar areas in order to make it thicker. Such procedures have been performed successfully for over a decade.
The oral surgeon, maxillofacial surgeon or periodontist will make an incision in the gum line near the molars. Tissue is lifted, exposing bone. The creation of a small gap enables the dentist to view the membrane that covers and separates the sinus cavity from the jaw bone. This membrane is pushed or lifted upward, and transplanted bone materials are then inserted into that space. Following placement, tissues are stitched and allowed to heal.
Sutures and will be removed within a week to 10 days following the surgery. Individuals receiving artificial bone graft materials may have to wait several months for such materials to integrate with the natural jaw bone, while individuals using their own bone grafts may wait about six months for new bone growth. Those utilizing synthetic bone may have to wait between nine and 10 months for their implants.
Who Benefits From A Sinus Lift?
Anyone who suffers from the loss of molars or pre molars as well as those suffering from anatomical structure that doesn't provide enough bone for dental implants may benefit from a sinus lift. Individuals diagnosed with periodontitis or gum disease and subsequent bone loss also benefit from such procedures. Some individuals undergoing cancer treatments, medication, or chemotherapy that causes bone loss or decay may also benefit from sinus lifts and tooth implants.
How Much Does A Sinus Lift Cost?
A sinus lift utilizes the services of oral surgeons, which can be expensive. In the United States, the average cost of the sinus lift may range between $2,000 and $4,000. Because most instances of a sinus lift are for the preparation of implants, individuals should also be prepared to spend an additional average of $2,500 for implants. In most cases, dental insurance may pay up to half the costs.
However, patients traveling to Poland may pay approximately $1,000 for the same procedure, while visitors to Thailand, India or Singapore may save between 50 and 75%. Travelers to Mexican, Central or South American destinations such as Mexico, Panama and Costa Rica save between 30 and 50% on surgical costs.
Who Performs Sinus Lift Surgery?
Sinus lift surgery is performed by an oral surgeon or maxillofacial surgeon or periodontist. Certification is offered through standards of the American Dental Association or other accredited dental association sub-specialty certification. When choosing a dentist in the United States, check with the American Dental Association or the Better Business Bureau to make sure no complaints have been lodged against a specific provider.
Other countries typically require membership or certification through Dental Colleges. For example, in India, a dentist should be certified through the Dental Council of India. In Singapore, a dentist should be registered with the College of Dental Surgeons. In Australia, dentists should be registered with the Royal Australian College of Dental Surgeons. Take the time to ask or find out about certification requirements any country you're interested in.