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Explaining The Sinus Lift Procedure Before A Dental Implant Placement

It’s not uncommon for a person looking to have implants in the back upper jaw to be told that a bone graft is required prior to implant placement. An implant needs healthy bone, and plenty of it, if it is to be able to support the implant and provide a stable platform for the replacement tooth. Once a tooth has been removed the bone that used to support it gradually resorbs and this can mean there is insufficient bone to place the implant. When it comes to dental implants in Richmond, here at Sheen Dental, Dr Harmit Kalsi is often required to carry out a sinus lift prior to placing an implant.

Dental Implants Richmond

Since many people worry about what a sinus lift involves we thought it might be an idea to discuss it here, in more detail.

Where does the bone come from?

The best bone is a patient’s own bone which can be taken from any areas in the mouth where there is bone to spare. Alternatively it may be cadaver bone from a ‘bone bank’ or even synthetic material. In certain cases where a large amount of bone is needed then bone may be grafted from a patient’s hip or shin.

The purpose of a sinus lift

The bone above the back teeth in the upper mouth is by nature softer than elsewhere in the mouth which often renders it shallow and not deep enough for the normal implant procedure. To rectify this problem a procedure known as a ‘sinus lift’ is carried out.

Preparing for a sinus lift

Before the sinus lift can go ahead you will need to have X-rays taken so that the anatomy of your jaw and sinuses can be studied. A CT scan will also be used so that the dentist can get an accurate measurement of the width and height of your existing bone whilst also assessing the health of your sinuses.

How it’s done

An incision will be made into the gum tissue where your back teeth once were. The tissue is then lifted to expose the bone. A small circle is cut into the bone and carefully lifted and placed into the sinus cavity. The space that is left is then filled with grafted bone material. The incision is then closed and left to heal. Depending on the individual the bone is then left to grow for anything from 4 to 12 months before the implants can be placed.

What to expect after surgery

At the very least you can expect some swelling of the area but you may also bleed from your nose or mouth. It’s really important not to blow your nose forcefully or to sneeze to violently as this could cause the bone-grafted material to move and loosen your stitches. Pain killers, anti-bacterial mouthwashes and antibiotics will all help the healing process and minimise your pain.

The stitches will be removed about a week after surgery and you’ll need to visit the clinic for follow ups to check the progress and to determine when the bone is able to have the dental implant placed.

If you’re looking to have a dental implant in Richmond, then you can rest assured that at Sheen Dental our highly qualified staff are highly knowledgeable on all aspects of dental implants. Why not book a no obligation consultation where you can discuss your options, meet the team and view the facilities. Call us on 020 8876 5277 or visit the website at


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