Uses of the Procedure
A procedure wherein a specialist adds a bone to a patient’s upper jaw near the premolars and molars is called sinus lift. Also known as sinus augmentation, the specialist will deftly add a bone between the maxillary sinuses and a person’s jaw so that the sinus membrane will be located upwards. Other specialists who can do this procedure are a periodontist or an oral surgeon and this is necessary for those patients who lost a number of teeth in their upper jaw specifically their molar area. Moreover, sinus lift is necessary because there are not enough bones to be placed in the affected area or there is not much bone in the upper jaw. Other factors that will necessitate sinus lift will be bone loss due to periodontal gum disease or lack of bone that will lessen the chances of making tooth implants.
Preparation and How the Procedure Is Done
For patients who have plenty of missing teeth, a sinus lift is necessary so that their appearances will be enhanced aside from avoiding being embarrassed with their looks. Before the procedure is performed, the specialist will look for a bone in the patient’s body that will be used to replace the missing bone. On the other hand, another bone will be removed from a cadaver so that it will be used similarly for the procedure. Generally, the surgeon will remove a bone from the patient’s body or mouth or even from his or he hips. Also, the doctors will x-ray the patient before the sinus lift so that he knows the anatomy of the patient’s sinus and jaw.
In some cases, a CT scan is needed to measure the bone that will be used for the operation as well as the condition of a person’s sinus. Once the surgeon has determined that the measurements are alright and the sinus is healthy enough, he will cut the gum tissue so that it will expose the bone in that area. He will create a hole, the size of an oval window so that this will separate the patient’s jaw and his or her sinus. Afterwards, several bone grafts will be used as a replacement for the sinus that was once there. Certain number of bones will be used for the procedure and this will number several millimeters and will be added just on top of the jaw.
During the sinus lift, the bone will be placed in the specified area while the tissues will be stitched up. The succeeding implants will be done in the next four to nine months and this will enable the materials that were grafted to be combined with the bone. Usually, there are not many issues except for swelling in the affected area. Some patients may experience bleeding from their nose or mouth so they should not blow their noses hard. Doing so will loosen the stitches or will cause the bone graft material to be displaced.
Precautions after the Procedure as well as Risks
To prevent patients from sneezing after they undergone a sinus lift, the dentist or specialists will recommend that patients use saline sprays to prevent the inner lining of their noses to become irritated or they will recommend medications that will prevent sneezing episodes. However, for those who have allergies that are seasonal, they should visit the doctor who will prescribe their medications when these allergies are not active. Aside from these, patients will be given antibiotics, pain medicine, and a mouthwash that is anti-microbial in nature to prevent any form of infection. Usually, most patients who undergone the sinus lift will experience little discomfort, but as a precaution, they should visit their doctors seven to ten days after the operation.
The specialist will look at the site where the sinus lift was made and may remove the stitches if necessary. Patients need to return to the specialist several times just to be sure that her or his healing process is progressing nicely. Next in line for them are several months of waiting for the jaw to get used to the bone material. Also, the material needs to harden so that it would be possible for implants to be placed, but it will take four to nine months before this is consummated. During these times, patients have to be careful after the procedure because there is a possibility that their sinus membrane maybe torn or punctured.
More often than not, there are no problems during surgery but there are times that the membranes are accidentally torn. In cases like these, the specialist should place a patch over the affected part or simply stitch it back together. For serious cases, the doctor may opt to stop the procedure and give the patient time to heal. Once the membrane heals, it will become stronger and thicker so it is more likely that the second attempt of the procedure will succeed. Although infection is remote, there are times that an existing bone will not adjust to the presence of the grafted area.
Worse, implants will not be possible because there is no blood supply that will connect the grafted area and the bony graft material. If this does happen, the patient has no choice but to have the procedure repeated. Other signs that merit a visit to a professional are any pain that will increase after the procedure although this will lessen in intensity after the next two days. Also, if bleeding is noticed a day or two after the procedure the patient must go to the hospital. Still another sign to be concerned with is that the bony material was displaced after the patient sneezed or blew his or her nose too hard.
Patients should also be aware that they have to keep their mouth clean after the procedure. In order to do this, they should gently rinse their mouth with a salt water solution that is lukewarm for best results they should repeat this simple method, four or five times a day in the next seven days. Lastly, sinus lift operations may cause some numbness especially if they are very close to the nerves but they are temporary and disappear quickly, so patients should not worry too much.