woman breathing in natureSinus lift surgery is often recommended before placing dental implants. This is because patients must have adequate quality and quantity of bone density for the dental implants to be successful.

An enlarged sinus creates a challenge for implant placement due to insufficient bone height in the upper back jaw, necessitating a sinus lift procedure to correct the bone density issue and ensure the success of dental implant procedures.

In many cases, the upper back jaw, near the sinus, has insufficient bone density making it extremely difficult to place the implant. Sinus lift surgery can correct this problem so that the dental implant is successful. Restoring bone height in the upper jaw is crucial for possible implant replacement of missing teeth as it enables implant placement in areas that would otherwise be unsuitable due to insufficient bone height caused by an enlarged sinus.

Here, we’ll answer the most common questions patients ask about sinus lift surgery.

1. Am I a candidate for sinus lift surgery?

Most patients who need sinus lift surgery are good candidates for it. To determine your candidacy, an oral surgeon will examine your mouth for healthy teeth and gums. He will also take X-rays and other images to ensure you actually need the procedure.

Additionally, candidates must have the qualities:

  • Not a heavy smoker
  • Not on anticoagulants
  • Have a good understanding of the potential risks of surgery
  • Willing to follow pre- and post-surgical instructions.

2. What are the benefits?

When the surgery is complete, patients can expect to experience these advantages:

  • Candidacy for dental implants: The most obvious benefit is that patients will finally be able to receive dental implants for their missing teeth. Undergoing this surgery raises the patient’s success rate and lowers the risk of complications.
  • Restored upper jawbone strength: A lack of jawbone density could be due to excessive tooth loss, periodontal disease, aging, or various other factors. Sinus lift surgery reverses the damage caused by these issues and restores the strength of the jaw.
  • Safety: Though sinus lift surgery sounds invasive (and maybe a little scary), the procedure is usually completed with little to no complications.

3. What happens during sinus lift surgery?

To begin, the oral surgeon will administer a combination of anesthesia and sedation to ensure your comfort. Then, he will make a small incision in the gums along your upper jaw and access the area between the sinuses and jawbone. Grafting material or donor tissue is used to reposition the floor of the sinus. Placing a graft during the sinus lift procedure is aimed at restoring the jaw bone to allow for successful implant placement. Once complete, the incisions will be closed with sutures.

4. What does post-surgery look like?

Patients can expect to experience normal post-surgical symptoms such as bruising, swelling, and discomfort. The oral surgeon will provide specific instructions on how to care for the surgical site. These instructions include applying ice packs as needed, avoiding strenuous activities, and eating a soft-food diet.

After your surgery, it is important to wait until your post-operative appointment before using your partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures unless otherwise instructed. Do not wear your prosthesis or night guards immediately after the surgery, especially if you have been given specific instructions to avoid doing so. It is recommended to wait until the numbness in the surgical area subsides before placing any prosthesis or night guard.

If you have any doubts about the fit of your flipper, partial denture, or complete denture, it is advised not to wear it until you have consulted with your general dentist or the dental office that performed the surgery. Wearing a prosthesis or night guard that touches the surgical area too soon can lead to complications such as ulceration, breakdown of suture margins, and potential loss of the graft. If you have any concerns or questions, do not hesitate to contact the dental office for guidance.

5. What are some post-operative problems or complications to watch out for after a sinus lift surgery?

After a sinus lift surgery, it is important to watch out for several post-operative problems or complications that may arise. These include:

  • Unexpected flow of air or liquids between your mouth and nose.
  • Discharge of small particles of graft material from your nose.
  • Sinus or nasal congestion on the side where the surgery was performed.
  • Increased swelling in your mouth, cheek, or under your eye after 3 days.

If you experience any of these issues following your sinus lift surgery, it is vital to inform your oral surgeon promptly for further evaluation and management.

6. How should I care for my oral hygiene after a sinus lift surgery?

After undergoing a sinus lift surgery, it is crucial to follow specific guidelines for your oral hygiene to ensure proper healing and reduce the risk of infection. Here are some key points to remember:

  • Avoid rinsing or spitting on the day of your surgery: These activities can disrupt the blood clot and open the wound, potentially leading to prolonged bleeding and slow healing. It is important not to have a significant amount of blood in your mouth. You can swallow saliva, even if it is slightly blood-tinged.
  • Start saltwater rinses on the day after your surgery: Prepare a solution by dissolving ½ teaspoon of salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm water. Gently rinse your mouth with portions of this solution, taking about 5 minutes to go through the entire glassful. Repeat this process at least 4-5 times daily and always after eating for the next 5 days.
  • Be cautious when brushing your teeth: Avoid brushing the teeth in the area of the surgery for the first 48 hours. Once you resume brushing, do so gently to prevent irritation. When spitting, ensure that this action is also done carefully.
  • Consider the use of prescribed antibiotic rinses: Depending on your specific case, your dentist may prescribe an antibiotic mouth rinse. If so, use this rinse in the morning and at bedtime after regular mouth care. Avoid eating, drinking, or rinsing your mouth immediately after using the medicated rinse. Using this rinse more than twice a day may lead to teeth staining.

By following these post-operative oral hygiene instructions, you can support proper healing, reduce the risk of infection, and promote overall recovery after a sinus lift surgery.

For more instructions, check out our oral surgeon’s recovery guidelines.

7. Who should perform my oral surgery?

Oral surgery can be invasive and intimidating. To combat feelings of fear, doubt, and worry, patients should look for an oral surgeon that is highly regarded, skilled, and experienced. While all oral surgeons receive the same education, they don’t always have the same skill, experience, or reputation.

To find an oral surgeon you can trust, follow these steps:

  1. Google “oral surgeon near me” OR “oral surgery in [city]”
  2. Read the Google reviews
  3. View at least three websites to learn about the surgeon and their services
  4. Schedule an initial consultation with one or more of the oral surgeons
  5. Make your decision

Following these steps will lead you to an oral surgeon like ours, Dr. Chris Tye, and ensure you receive gentle, highly-skilled, trustworthy care.

Browse our website to learn more about Dr. Tye, and call us today to schedule an initial consultation!