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What is Sinus Augmentation?

If a dentist or orthodontist has told you that you need a sinus augmentation, you might be confused or worried about what this means. Here at our Las Vegas oral surgeon office, we perform sinus augmentation surgeries with one of our skilled surgeons. This guide covers exactly what you can expect from a sinus augmentation surgery and how it can help you.

What to Expect from a Sinus Augmentation Surgery?

A sinus augmentation is also known as a sinus lift. It’s usually needed for those that need dental implants but do not have enough jawbone to properly secure the implant. You might also hear it is called a sinus graft. This surgery is not performed by a dentist, but instead by skilled and highly trained oral surgeons. If you’re looking for an oral surgeon in Las Vegas to perform this operation, come to our office and schedule a consultation.

When you get a sinus lift, the surgeon is lifting up the sinus cavities to make room for more bone which can be used for dental implants. These sinuses are called the maxillary sinuses and they are in the back portion of the upper jaw. This surgery is very important because it gives you a more stable upper jawbone which is crucial for dental implants. When you have the right amount of upper jaw, you can ensure that you are getting your dental implants done well. It also helps with chewing.

There might be several reasons why you might not enough upper jawbone. Some are related to birth defects and cancer, while other times it might be because you have periodontal disease. Whatever the reason, we are here to ensure you have a smooth and easy sinus augmentation surgery.

How Does Sinus Augmentation Surgery Work?

Here are the steps you can expect when you have a consultation and surgery at our office:

  • The surgeon and you will discuss your goals for dental implants and what you want the final result to be.
  • The doctor will then examine your mouth, gums, and teeth.
  • You will also need to do x-rays and tomography scans so the doctor gets a good picture of your jawbone and so he can see the overall health of your mouth and skull.
  • If it’s determined that you need sinus lift surgery, the surgeon will schedule the appointment and go over all instructions with you.
  • After the surgery, a dental implant holder will be inserted in the place where you are planning to get dental implants. 
  • The doctor will then insert the dental implant.

Does Sinus Augmentation Surgery Require Sedatives?

Before you can undergo this surgery, you will usually be given sedatives either orally or through an IV. Sometimes the doctor will also give local anesthesia to ensure you don’t feel any pain during the operation. Once you are sedated, the doctor will make incisions into the gum tissue so that the bone is exposed. A small area of the bone will then be cut. The doctor will take extra care during this step so that the sinus membranes are not cut open.

Next, the surgeon will take the portion they have cut off the bone and push it up into the sinus cavity. This will help to raise the membrane and ensure that there is extra space for the bone and dental implants. Once the area is lifted, bone grafts will be placed. This will either be synthetic bone or small fragments of bone taken from other parts of your body. The doctor will discuss this option with you before the surgery so you will know which one you are getting.

Recovery After Sinus Augmentation

sinus augmentation is major surgery, so you need to make sure you are well-prepared for the recovery process. Make sure to follow all instructions from the surgeon and call the office right away if you are concerned about something. The most common problems after surgery are swelling and bleeding. This should only last a few days. After the swelling stops, you should be able to return to all your regular activities, but the doctor will tell you for sure.

A common complication that happens is the accidental perforation of the membranes that line the sinus cavity. If this is accidentally cut open, you might be more suspectable to sinus infections or chronic sinusitis. If this happens, the surgeon will try their best to repair the cavity while you are in surgery. Small perforations can often heal on their own.

After surgery make sure you are doing all of the following to help decrease your chance of complications:

  • Make sure to remember to take all medicines prescribed to you by the doctor. This will help you avoid complications and infections.
  • Try not to blow your nose too hard and avoid sneezing if possible. This will ensure the bone graft stays in place.
  • Don’t brush your teeth until the doctor gives you the go-ahead. Brushing too soon can cause clots to come out.
  • Take pain relievers only as directed and only as needed.
  • Don’t drink from a straw as this can dislodge your blood clots from the surgery and cause you to bleed more.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking and tobacco products can increase the healing time and make it more complicated.

Make sure to go to all follow-up appointments, which start about a week after surgery. This gives the doctor a chance to check the incision sites and make sure everything is healing well. Keep in mind that your jawbone can take about four to 12 months to completely heal. Once the bone is healed, you can get your dental implants put in. If you have any swelling that worsens or you have signs of infection, make sure to come back into the office right away.

If you are interested in dental implants and need sinus augmentation, give us a call today at (702) 750-9444 for our Charleston location and (702) 436-0900 for our Pecos location.