Sinus Lift Procedure

Sinus Lift – Woodinville, WA

Feb 2, 2018 — by Cristin Dowd, DDS
Tags: Dental Implants Bone Grafting

Dental implants are the most durable and stable restoration after tooth loss. A dental implant acts as an artificial tooth root and provides support for a full range of dental restorations, including dental crowns, dental bridges, or dentures. While dental implants offer more benefits than any other restorative treatment, not all patients are ideal candidates, due to insufficient jawbone tissue. Bone grafting rebuilds a jawbone that has experienced deterioration following tooth loss. Bone grafting treatment can be personalized to the specific needs of each patient. When the upper molars are being replaced by dental implants, the patient may require a sinus lift. The experienced doctors at Signature Smiles can perform a sinus lift for our Woodinville, WA, patients so that they can strengthen the upper jawbone and make room for dental implants.

Digital image of jawbone degeneration

What to Expect

A sinus lift is an oral surgery procedure that significantly alters the structure of the upper jawbone. To ensure that patients remain comfortable throughout treatment, this procedure is typically performed using both sedation and local anesthetic. To begin the procedure, the doctor will make a small incision in the gums where the tooth loss has occurred. When the bone has been exposed, the doctor will create another small opening in the jawbone. This will grant access to the patient’s maxillary sinus. The maxillary sinuses are on either side of the patient’s nose. To make room for the bone graft and, ultimately, the dental implants, the doctor will gently position the sinus membrane higher. After the sinus has been lifted, a bone graft will be placed between the sinus and the jawbone. The bone graft will be held in place with a series of small screws. Additional marrow or grafting material may also be placed around the edges of the graft to provide further support. Once everything is in place, the incision will be closed.


Patients will experience some side effects as they recover from a sinus lift procedure, but discomfort should be minimal. The most common side effects of treatment are swelling along the gum line, tenderness, and possibly slight bleeding from the gums and/or nose. It is important to avoid forcefully blowing the nose during the initial stage of sinus lift recovery. Patients are likely to be prescribed a medication to prevent congestion, as well as an antibiotic to prevent infection. We also recommend saline nose spray to keep the inside of the nose moist, as well as an antimicrobial mouthwash to keep the gums and mouth clean. Within about a week of treatment, most side effects should resolve.

Although the initial stage of sinus lift recovery only takes about a week, it takes much longer for the bone graft to integrate with the jawbone. The bone graft must harden and fully fuse with surrounding jawbone tissues before dental implants can be placed. The exact recovery time will vary for each patient, but it is typically between four and nine months before the patient is ready to proceed with dental implant treatment.

Schedule an Appointment

If the jawbone has deteriorated, a bone graft can reinforce the jaw to allow for dental implant treatment. If you are interested in learning more about a bone graft, sinus lift, or dental implants treatment, our dentists are here to help. Schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience to discuss your specific dental needs. 

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