Sinus Augmentation

A sinus augmentation, or "sinus lift," is a surgical bone grafting procedure that is performed in the maxillary (upper jaw) sinus cavity (above the area that anchors your teeth) to prepare the patient for dental restoration. Some patients have such small amounts of existing bone in these areas that dental restoration simply cannot occur without sufficient formation of new bone. Your surgeon may feel that autogenous bone or INFUSE® Bone Graft is needed to form the necessary bone in this area for reliable and functional dental restoration. In this case, INFUSE® Bone Graft or autogenous bone harvested from another site in your body may be placed into your upper jaw to promote bone growth in the floor of the sinus cavity to anchor the dental implants to allow for dental restoration.

A sinus augmentation may be an appropriate oral surgery if you want to replace teeth with dental implants because you are:

  • Missing more than one tooth in the back of the upper jaw
  • Missing a large amount of bone in the back of the upper jaw
  • Missing teeth due a congenital (present at birth) defect or condition
  • Missing most of the teeth in the upper jaw and need firm anchorage for multiple implants

During sinus augmentation surgery

There are many ways for a surgeon to perform a sinus augmentation. In one of the most common ways, the oral-maxillofacial surgeon makes an incision in the gum and gently pulls the gum tissue back. The surgeon then cuts into the gum area to expose the sinus membrane. The membrane is then lifted from the bony sinus floor to manufacture a space for bone graft material. The bone graft material is then placed in the space to help the body grow bone and form a thicker sinus floor.

Once the bone graft site has healed, the jaw bone below the sinus may be prepared for a dental implant or other dental restoration.

A sinus augmentation is generally performed in the dental office under local anesthesia. Some patients also may request oral or intravenous sedative medication as well.

After sinus augmentation surgery

Treatment results are specific to each individual patient, so they may vary from person to person. The entire process, from tooth extraction to final dental implant placement, may take up to a year.

Your surgeon will have a specific recovery plan for you to follow after your procedure. To maximize your potential for a successful outcome, you must carefully follow your recovery plan.

Potential risks and complications

As with any surgery, surgical treatment to promote bone growth in the jaw is not without risk. A variety of complications related to surgery or the use of INFUSE® Bone Graft may occur. Some of these may be severe and affect your results. Additional surgery also may be required to correct these complications.

Some possible complications include:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Death
  • Development of respiratory problems
  • Ectopic and/or exuberant bone formation (abnormal bone formation)
  • Edema (swelling)
  • Erythematous tissue(redness of skin caused by dilation)
  • Fetal development complications
  • Hematoma (clotted blood)
  • Incisional complications
  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Itching
  • Pain
  • Scar formation
  • Tissue or nerve damage

If you think you may be experiencing some of these issues after your surgery, contact your doctor immediately.