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Sinus Augmentation

A dental implant is essentially an artificial tooth root which is attached to the jaw bone.  Eventually, a replacement tooth or bridge will be firmly fixed to this root, restoring complete function to the tooth.  The key to a successful and long-lasting implant is the quality and quantity of jawbone to which the implant will be attached.  If bone has been lost due to injury or periodontal disease, a sinus augmentation can raise the sinus floor to allow for new bone formation.

In the most common sinus augmentation technique, a tiny incision is made near the upper premolar or molar region to expose the jawbone.  A small opening is cut into the bone and the membrane lining the sinus on the other side of the opening is gently pushed upward.  The underlying space is filled with bone graft material and the incision is closed.  The bone which is used for this procedure may be from your own body or from a cadaver.  Sometimes the dentist might use synthetic materials which can also stimulate bone formation.  The implants are placed after healing has occurred; this will depend on the individual case.  Sinus augmentation has been shown to increase the success of dental implant procedures.

Commonly Asked Questions:

Q: How long does a sinus augmentation take?

A: The visit to perform a sinus augmentation procedure is approximately 1-1.5 hours. 

Q: How long do I have to wait after a sinus augmentation procedure is performed before having implants placed?

A: Depending upon your individual situation, the implants may be placed at the time the sinus augmentation procedure is performed. If the implants are placed at that time, you would wait 6-8 months after the sinus augmentation procedure to place the implants, depending on the individual situation.

Q: How well do sinus augmentation procedures work?

A: Sinus augmentation procedures are highly predictable, with studies reporting over 95% success. It is important to realize that if the sinus augmentation procedure does not result in enough bone for implant placement, additional bone may be regenerated through a second sinus augmentation procedure at the time the implant is placed.