The maxillary sinuses are above the upper back teeth. When upper teeth are removed, there may only be a thin wall of bone separating the maxillary sinus and the mouth. If there is insufficient bone below the sinus for implant placement, a sinus lift procedure is needed.
A small opening is cut into the bone, and the membrane lining the sinus is elevated. The underlying space is filled with bone grafting material, either from your own body or from cadaveric or bovine bone. Sometimes, synthetic materials that can imitate bone formation are used. After several months of healing, the bone integrates and dental implants can be inserted and stabilized in this new sinus bone.
Following the surgery, the grafted bone will integrate with the surrounding bone, which typically takes four to six months months, depending on the type of bone material used and your individual needs. If enough bone is present, an implant can sometimes be placed and the sinus augmentation completed as a single procedure.