Sinus Lift

What is a sinus lift?

The maxillary sinuses are behind your cheeks and on top of the upper teeth. These sinuses are empty, air-filled spaces. Some of the roots of the natural upper teeth extend up into the maxillary sinuses. When these upper teeth are removed there is often just a thin wall of bone separating the maxillary sinus and the mouth. Dental implants need bone to hold them in place. When the sinus wall is very thin, it is impossible to place dental implants in this bone.

The key to a successful and long-lasting dental implant is the quality and quantity of jaw bone to which the implant will be attached. If bone loss has occurred due to injury or periodontal disease, a sinus augmentation can raise the sinus floor and allow for new bone formation. A sinus lift is one of the most common bone grafting procedures for patients with bone loss in the upper jaw. The procedure seeks to grow bone in the floor of the maxillary sinus above the bony ridge of the gum line that anchors the teeth in the upper jaw. This enables dental implants to be placed and secured in the new bone growth.

Am I a candidate for a sinus lift procedure?

A sinus lift may be necessary if you:

  • are missing more than one tooth in the back of your jaw
  • are missing a significant amount of bone in the back of your jaw
  • are missing teeth due to a birth defect or condition
  • are missing most of the maxillary teeth and require support for dental implants

How is a sinus lift accomplished?

Most commonly, a small incision is made on the premolar or molar region to expose the jaw bone. A small opening is cut into the bone, and the membrane lining the sinus is pushed upward. The underlying space is filled with bone grafting material, either from your own body or from a other sources. Sometimes, synthetic materials that imitate bone formation are used. After the bone is implanted, the incision is sutured and the healing process begins. After several months of healing, the bone becomes part of the patient’s jaw and dental implants can be inserted and stabilized in the newly formed sinus bone.

If enough bone between the upper jaw ridge and the bottom of the sinus is available to sufficiently stabilize the implant, sinus augmentations and implant placement can sometimes be performed as a single procedure. If not enough bone is available, the sinus augmentation will have to be performed first, then the graft will have to mature for up to several months, depending upon the type of graft material used. Once the graft has matured, the implants can be placed.

The sinus graft makes it possible for many patients to have dental implants that previously had no other option besides wearing loose dentures.

A sinus augmentation is generally performed at Dr. Nelson and Dr. Wells‘s office, under local anesthesia. Some patients may request oral or intravenous sedative medication as well.

Nelson & Wells Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

5 out of 5 stars based on 15 Sinus Lift reviews

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The staff and the Doctor were very helpful and courtesy.

- David A

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I had a wisdom tooth pulled. The staff was very friendly which helped me relax. Dr Wells was amazing. He is very kind yet extends a feeling of confidence in his knowledge.

- jenny j

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I would - and have - recommend Dr. Nelson to anyone looking for an outstanding and dependable dental surgeon/practice.

- Sara G

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I would recommend this medical practice to anyone. They always treated me with dignity and respect, were so accommodating, made sure I was always informed of what each procedure involved, sent reminders for the appointments, and gave a phone number in case there were difficulties following any procedure. Having dental work done is not the most fun. But this oral surgery practice made very visit something I really looked forward to. Everyone was really wonderful and I am sorry I wont't need to return or see them again. But, I have very positive memories of the entire experience.

- Linda A

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Dr. Nelson is the best oral surgeon I've ever seen. I've been a bit of a challenge and he's always communicated everything to me. Then proceeded to take care of the situation. Dr. Nelson is pretty awesome.

- Bev F

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Would highly recommend. Professional staff. Can't say enough good things. This is my second visit and Dr Nelson was awesome once again. Extraction procedure was done as gently as possible. Experienced minimal discomfort. Thank you so much.

- Tony P

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I needed to have a molar extracted, before the extraction I was told the procedure would take half an hour and it did. I took tylenol for a day or so and today it's been a week since surgery and my sutures have dissolved and no pain at all! The staff was friendly and considerate, Dr Wells thoroughly explained everything. Dr. Wells and his staff made the experience as pleasant as it could be.

- Loraine V

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My daughter had her wisdom teeth removed & did very well. She had minimal discomfort & healed quickly. The doctor & staff are highly recommended.

- Kelli A

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Dr Wells and his staff were great. They were highly professional, personable, and very caring. I literally had no pain after the surgery. Thanks for everything!

- Dona R

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My son was having his wisdom teeth removed, the staff was very friendly and the oral surgery lasted less than an hour. After the oral surgery the information given to me for post operation was very helpful. Thank you to the staff and the doctor for taking good care of my son.

- Kinga W

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I would highly recommend Dr. Nelson to anyone needing oral surgery. His surgical skill and caring manner were exceptional. He explained care options not mentioned by another oral surgeon I consulted. Pricing was more than fair. My recovery was quick and painless.

- Carolyn S

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I am very happy that I was referred to this office. I am healing from a wisdom tooth extraction, but I cannot wait to see them next week for a follow up!

- Sheerley S

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Our Latest Patient Testimonials

Dr Nelson has both excellent skills and a good sense of humor. The office is well arranged and has the best Giant Lifesavers ever! With excellent skills and reasonable prices this is definitely a quality combination for patients needing these services. I can highly reccomend their services!

- Art R

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Wonderful staff

- Patricia M

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The entirty of my wisdom teeth extraction was plesant, due to the professionalism and skill from both the doctor(s) and staff. Dr. Nelson performed so well I didn't have any swelling, bruising, nor pain! I was terribly nervous going into this surgery, but all of my anxieties were washed away soon thereafter. I will recommend Nelson, Rollert & Wells Associates to friends and family in the Denver area.

- Akaisha R

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