Understanding Sinus Lifts
A sinus lift is a modified version of the dental bone graft, designed for patients who need dental implants in the upper jaw. During this procedure, your surgeon adds a small amount of bone between the roof of your mouth and the sinuses directly above. This creates the room needed to place a bone graft and encourages new growth so that your implants have a strong foundation. As the only board-certified periodontist in Meridian, MS, Dr. J. Eric Herrington is uniquely qualified to perform sinus lifts and has been offering the procedure since 2004.
Are You a Candidate?
Jawbone deterioration is a natural byproduct of tooth loss. For this reason, a sinus lift is sometimes necessary when the upper molars are removed – particularly if a bone graft was not performed at the same time as the extraction. While not everyone requires a sinus lift, it may be recommended if you have:
- Lost teeth in the upper jaw
- Lost bone tissue because of periodontal disease
- A maxillary sinus that is naturally close to the upper jaw
Before undergoing surgery, you should be free of any oral infection or gum disease that could put your health and results at risk.
What Happens during a Sinus Lift?
During your consultation, Dr. Herrington will take an x-ray to examine your jaw and ask about your medical history. If a sinus lift seems appropriate at this point, he can schedule an appointment for the surgery.
On the day of the procedure, the doctor will administer anesthesia before making an incision in the gums. Once the jawbone is accessed, a small window is created in the bone. This allows your surgeon to see the sinus membrane that separates your jaw from your sinuses. He can then gently lift this membrane back to its proper location and pack the space underneath with bone grafting material before closing the incision up again. If you prefer, we can also provide sedation to keep you comfortable during the procedure.
What Should You Expect during Recovery?
In the first few days, patients may experience some tenderness and swelling around the surgical site. Over-the-counter pain relievers are usually enough to manage these symptoms, though. To speed up your recovery process and prevent infection, you may receive antibiotics, an antimicrobial mouthwash, and a nasal saline spray. Additionally, as tempting as it may be to blow your nose, it is is important that you do not. This could shift the bone graft or cause damage to the stitches.
In most cases, it takes about six months to heal after a sinus lift procedure. However, most patients will be comfortable after a few days. Once the bone has fully healed, you may schedule your dental implant procedure.
Schedule an Appointment
Sinus lifts must be completed by dentists who have received special training. Not only is Dr. Herrington one of only three board-certified periodontists in the entire state of Mississippi, but he is also a diplomate, certified by the American Board of Periodontology.
To book your appointment and speak with Dr. Herrington, contact us online. You may also reach us by phone at (601) 482-6938.