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23456 hawthorne Blvd #210 Torrance, CA 90505
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Sinus Lift – Torrance, CA

Prepare Your Upper Jaw for Dental Implants

Without question, dental implants are the best form of tooth replacement that modern dentistry has to offer. However, they come with a complex treatment process, and our team needs to be sure that your mouth is able to adequately support them. If we find that your upper jaw is not currently large enough or thick enough to accommodate implants, our Torrance team of experts might recommend that you undergo a sinus lift. This special oral surgery can prepare your upper jaw for dental implants and set you up for long-term success with your new smile.

What Is a Sinus Lift?

Illustration showing sinus lift procedure

Essentially, a sinus lift is a special type of bone graft that is performed exclusively in the upper dental arch. When the upper jaw is too thin, placing dental implants is risky because they could penetrate the sinus membrane above it, leading to significant complications. A sinus lift mitigates that risk because the procedure literally involves lifting the sinus membrane. Once it is lifted, a bone graft is placed beneath it to thicken the upper jaw and keep the sinus in its new place.

Indications for Sinus Lifts

Dentist and patient reviewing X-ray together

There are a number of reasons why your upper jaw might not be thick enough to support dental implants:

  • You lost your natural teeth some time ago. Without tooth roots to stimulate the jawbone, it tends to become thinner and weaker as the months and years pass.
  • You have a naturally thin upper jaw or naturally large sinus. These anatomical features are usually the result of genetics.
  • You had advanced gum disease. Advanced gum disease can cause significant damage to the jawbone. When this occurs in the upper dental arch, it can interfere with your mouth’s ability to support dental implants.
  • You are up in age. Bone health problems are more common in older individuals.

The Sinus Lift Process

Illustration of dental implant in jawbone after sinus lift

One of the first things we will do during your appointment is strive to make you comfortable. In addition to administering local anesthesia, we may also sedate you. We offer a few different types of sedation; we will choose the one that best fits your unique situation.

Once you are settled in, we will make small incisions in your gum tissue so we can access the jawbone. Next, we will create an opening in the jawbone so we can gently push the sinus membrane upward. We then place a block of bone material, perhaps from a donor or an artificial source, beneath the membrane. To finish the surgery, we close the incisions in the gums.

The soft tissue at the surgical site should heal within a few weeks. However, full recovery and integration of the bone graft can take 4 – 9 months. After that period, you may be eligible to receive dental implants in your upper jaw.

Would you like to learn more about sinus lift surgery? Contact Blue Coast Dental Group in Torrance today to ask questions or request a consultation.

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