A sinus lift is performed for patients who want to replace a missing back molar and have insufficient height and density in the upper jawbone to support the implant. The poor bone quality in the upper jaw can be due to enlarged sinuses. A sinus lift, also called sinus augmentation, involves grafting bone to the upper jaw to add width and height to the area before placing a dental implant. At Town Center Dental of LaGrange, Dr. Paes is qualified and equipped to offer sinus lift procedures with the highest level of precision and care.
Our office uses cone beam 3D technology to gather the most accurate measurements of the upper jawbone and its detailed relationship with the sinus cavity. This tells Dr. Paes exactly how much bone needs to be grafted in order to successfully support a dental implant. During the procedure, Dr. Paes will use special instruments to cut a small window in the back wall of the maxillary sinus. This will not damage the underlying tissue or impact the sinus membrane. Next, the sinus membrane is gently lifted so that the bone graft material can be placed on the top of the sinus floor.
While the procedure is safe, very straightforward and highly effective, a sinus lift does require special aftercare instructions. The following recommendations will facilitate your healing and give you the highest chance for successful implant placement:
You will be given a gauze pack to bite down on when you leave the office after your surgery. Maintain firm pressure on the gauze to control bleeding at the surgical site; replace your gauze as needed. Any excessive bleeding or pooling of bright red blood should be reported to our office immediately. You can expect a tiny amount of clear or slightly bloody nasal discharge as well.
Immediately following your surgery, it is best to apply ice on the face to minimize bruising and swelling around the nose, cheeks and under the eyes. Apply the ice on and off for 30 minutes at a time, for the first 48 hours if possible. This will also help to reduce your discomfort.
You should continue the antibiotic that was given to you prior to surgery as well as the decongestant. Your pain medication should be taken as needed according to your specific instructions from Dr. Paes.
Sniffing is fine, but blowing can disrupt the healing of the bone graft.
Protecting the surgical wound and the body’s natural healing process is important. Any rinsing or spitting can dislodge healthy blood clots that form to seal off the wound.
It is best to avoid direct contact on and around the wound for the first couple of days. Not only can brushing around the area cause discomfort, but it may delay healing.
For a recommended period of time following your sinus lift, you may be asked to limit physical activity. While you want to prevent any trauma to the surgical site, it is also important to avoid excess blood flow and decrease sinus pressure so that the surgical site can heal properly.
Drinking through a straw and choosing carbonated drinks can dislodge the blood clot and open the wound. Avoid this potential source of irritation and sip slowly on beverages that are non-carbonated.
Smoking cigarettes can not only delay healing, but it can cause your entire procedure to fail. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, which means proper blood flow is reduced enough to slow down or prohibit healing after surgery. Smoking also lowers your immune system and increases your risk for infection.
You may experience tightness or fullness in the area of the graft placement; this is normal. Avoid pulling your lip to inspect the area as this can disrupt the wound.
Follow Dr. Paes’ instructions on when to wear your temporary denture again. You should not put it back in when your gums are still numb, and you may need to wait until your sutures are removed.
These are important post-operative instructions that will help you recover faster and easier. With a sinus lift, you can expect a certain degree of swelling, pain and bleeding. If you are concerned about your aftercare experience at all, please contact Dr. Paes immediately. We want to ensure your recovery is as smooth and comfortable as possible.