Dental implants have become the safest and most comfortable treatment to solve problems of missing teeth. Once placed, the implant fuses with the jawbone, providing a strong hold against external forces such as chewing or the act of tearing food.
Before starting dental implant treatment, it is necessary for the implantologist to study the case of each patient in a personalized way to determine which is the appropriate technique before the intervention. On some occasions, patients do not have the necessary bone base to place the implant correctly, in these situations a sinus lift must be performed.
What are sinus lift techniques?
Sinus lift, or also called Sinus augmentation, techniques allow implant placement in the upper jaw in posterior areas in patients with very low bone density. The different sinus lift techniques allow the height of the maxilla to be increased vertically, filling the part of the maxillary sinus necessary with artificial bone to be able to house the dental implants suitable for each case. The maxillary sinuses are two cavities located in the upper part of the upper jaws. They participate in breathing and protect the respiratory tract from infections.
When to apply sinus lift techniques?
These techniques have opened the possibility of placing implants and, therefore, of placing a fixed prosthesis in patients who have lost their teeth for a long time and who have a large bone resorption. To determine if it is necessary to perform a sinus augmentation and to define which is the most appropriate technique, it is necessary to request a three-dimensional radiographic study (CBCT or CT-Scanner) from the patient. In this diagnostic test we will assess both the density and the volume of the patient’s bone. Thus, we can plan the surgery in the correct way.
Different sinus lift techniques
Sinus lift is a surgery that requires technique and experience. It is recommended that it is always performed by a professional expert in oral surgery, who will have the necessary knowledge for the treatment to be successful.
There are two types of sinus lift:
Atraumatic sinus lift
It is performed in patients with at least 4 mm of bone. It is done the same day as the implant placement. Taking advantage of the drilling phase, through the area that is prepared to place the implant, instruments called osteotomes are introduced, which will help us to raise the membrane of the sinus to impact the bone that we are going to graft. The amount of bone will depend on each patient, but it must always be enough so that the implant is completely covered by the bone and stable.
Surgical sinus lift
This technique is more laborious than the previous one. It is performed in patients who do not have the 4 mm of bone necessary to perform an atraumatic elevation. It is performed through the lateral wall of the sinus where after detaching the gum from the bone, a window is opened with a rotary instrument. It is a very meticulous surgery but, thanks to it, implants can be placed in areas with little residual bone height, where otherwise it would be impossible.
The implants will be placed in a second surgical phase since it is necessary to wait for the bone to have enough hardness and consistency ( around 6 months) so that they remain stable, although, in some cases, they can be placed simultaneously.
What care should we take after a sinus lift?
Post-operative of the atraumatic sinus lift Technique
The post-operative of this technique is simple. The medication recommended by the surgeon should be followed to avoid inflammation and alleviate the slight discomfort that it may cause. It is recommended to apply cold to the area a few hours after the intervention and follow a soft diet for the following weeks but, above all, chew on the opposite side to the one that has been operated on.
Post-operative Surgical sinus Lift Technique
In this sinus lift technique, the postoperative period also involves medication to alleviate the discomfort and inflammation that may occur. Must be:
- Apply cold the first hours after the intervention.
- Follow a soft diet for several weeks (it is essential to avoid hard or crunchy foods that can hurt the area).
- Brush the area with a soft or surgical brush.
- Control sneezing and sucking, and do not rinse too vigorously.
- Avoid pressure changes for a few weeks after the intervention, not diving, climbing or flying.