A sinus lift may be needed to prepare the ground, as it were, for dental implants. This may be in combination with bone augmentation (see here for more details on bone grafts).
The upper molars sit below the maxillary sinuses. The sinuses are a cavity around the cheekbones. If the molars have been lost the sinuses may have moved downwards or sometimes people just naturally have large sinuses or they are naturally in a lower position. The change in position of the sinuses can sometimes be seen in the facial features as some people have hollows in their cheeks where their bone used to be. Having a sinus lift, therefore, lifts the cheeks giving a more youthful appearance and at around 500 Euros per cheek that’s a pretty inexpensive facelift.
What does a sinus lift involve?
An incision will be made into the gum to expose the bone, a small window will be cut out and pushed up, a bit like opening your loft door, into the sinus cavity. The sinus membrane is moved out of the way to a higher position and the bone granules are placed below it. The sinus floor is now lifted.The membrane is then replaced and dissolvable stitches placed. In some instances the surgeon may decide to place the implants immediately but in ,most circumstances you will need to wait for 4- 9 months for your bone will use the granules as a framework to grow around and fill the area. I know that there is a huge variation in this time frame but we all have different sinuses with different sized cavities so it is difficult to be more precise.
The area may swell and feel uncomfortable for the next two days. You may also get bleeding through your nose and mouth. This should be only be minor and be controlled used ice packs and your usual choice of painkillers, paracetamol and/or ibuprofen for example. If the pain, swelling or bleeding lasts longer than 2 days see your dentist. The surgeon may have given you antibiotics and if so ensure you complete the course.
In the UK an sinus lift can cost between £800 and £1500 per side and in the US it can be between $1500 – $5000. In Hungary prices are around 750EUR.
When you are quoted for implants or All on 4’s be sure to check whether bone grafts and sinus lifts are included in the price.
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