As dental technology evolves, better dental care becomes more accessible and affordable. Treatments that seemed reserved for the wealthy 20 years ago are now more common. Dental sinus lifts are an example of a more accessible type of treatment.
More and more people are needing a sinus lift, so it’s good to have information available about what to expect.
Who Would Benefit?
A sinus lift is a procedure where the surgeon increases the amount of bone in the upper jaw. If you need dental implants but lack support in the jawbone, you may need this lift. The sinus must be moved to make space for the graft. Usually, it takes six months for this graft to settle before moving on to implants.
Trying to get implants without enough bone support makes the replacements more likely to fail. They can also perforate the sinus membrane.
How is it Done?
Several kinds of materials are available to act as bone matter. The best material is a patient’s own bones. Otherwise, donor material will work. The technicians must prepare the material before surgery day. If you’re using your own bone matter, it’s usually taken from the tibia or hip ahead of time.
As for the actual procedure, the dentist makes an incision in the gums, then exposes the jawbone. This allows them to cut into the hole, gently nudging the sinus upwards. From there, they’ll pack the bone graft material and stitch the gums shut.
For this procedure, you can have local or general anesthesia, or either nitrous oxide sedation or IV sedation. Either way, the procedure lasts 90 minutes to 2 hours.
How Much Does it Cost?
On average, a sinus lift costs between $1,500 to $2,500 per side, meaning you may pay up to $5,000 if you need to lift both sides. Because it’s a dental procedure, standard health insurance likely will not cover it.
If you need to take antibiotics before surgery, the surgeon will prescribe them. During recovery, you may need prescription-strength pain medication and an antihistimine. These are all costs that aren’t included with the original quote.
Finally, after several months to one year, you should have no problem getting your dental implants. These will cost up to $3,000 each.
What are the Risks?
The biggest risk associated with a sinus dental lift is that membrane could tear. If this happens during the surgery, you’ll either need a patch placed over it or to have the tear stitched. If this doesn’t work, the surgeon might need to wait until the hole has time to heal before resuming.
After the membrane heals, the surgeon can attempt the lift once again. It takes a few months for a torn sinus membrane to heal. Fortunately, it will likely grow back thicker and stronger, increasing the odds of success. Of course, there are other factors involved.
Any surgical procedure carries the risk of infection, but is rarely happens with lifts.
Rarely, the bone won’t integrate with the graft material, never allowing the area to gain a blood supply. If this happens, there won’t be any live bone to support any implants, causing them to fail if installed. If your implants fail, you can repeat the dental lift procedure.
Following the procedure, the dentist will likely have you bite down on a gauze pad. This gently applies enough pressure to stop the bleeding.
Change the gauze pad once an hour. Expect the gauze to become red, but seek help if the area won’t slow bleeding. Ice packs can help reduce the swelling.
Remember that you need the blood clot to form and remain to keep the bleeding at bay. That means you don’t want to smoke, rinse your mouth excessively, or blow your nose for one week.
It seems like most people who need extensive dental work treatment end up making appointments all over town. This can’t be easy on your schedule, not to mention confusing and somewhat intimidating. Each office has its own system, staff members, and reputation.
No more. Now everything you need is available under just one roof in Phoenix. Our team at Dental Specialty Associates is on standby, ready to take your call! We’re ready to answer your questions or schedule a consultation for your dental needs.