When upper molars are lost, the maxillary sinus enlarges and reduces the amount of bone available for dental implant support. A sinus lift procedure will raise the floor of the maxillary sinus and increase bone height for implant placement.
Indirect Sinus Lift:
Minor sinus lifts can be performed at the time of implant placement. A hole is created in the bone for the implant but stops just below the sinus. An osteotome is used to tap up the floor of the sinus a few millimeters; the implant is then placed. The implant will hold up the floor of the sinus and bone will fill in around the end of the implant.
Direct Sinus Lift:
A direct sinus lift is used when there are only a few millimeters of bone remaining below the sinus. A small window is made in the bone covering the maxillary sinus and the lining of the sinus is then elevated and bone graft material is placed below the floor of the sinus membrane. The surgical site is then closed and allowed to heal for 6 months. Sinus lifts are a predictable way to increase the height of bone which will support dental implants.