Sinus Lift Surgery

Female denstist showing senior male patient sinus lift procedure results with a dental model- Novato, CAIf you have looked into dental implants, your dentist might have also mentioned a sinus lift procedure. It creates more space so your implant has support and longevity. Though the name sounds intimidating, the procedure is relatively simple. 

In this article, we will give you the information you need to feel comfortable about the entire process of your sinus lift. 

What Is A Sinus Lift Surgery?

Also known as sinus augmentation, a sinus lift is a surgical procedure offered by a dental specialist or oral surgeon. The maxillary sinuses are very close to the teeth in the upper jaw. 

If you don’t have enough bone support or bone height, your sinus membrane is lifted and bone grafting material is placed.  

Do I Need A Sinus Lift For Dental Implants?

You may be a candidate for sinus lift surgery if you’ve had tooth loss over time. The bone where the missing teeth were could be reabsorbed. This may result in bone loss or weak, fragile bone. Most patients with gum disease or periodontal disease normally have a higher risk of significant bone loss as well.  

What To Expect For Your Sinus Lift Procedure?


We start by taking x-rays or a CT scan to determine if the dental implant has enough space in the upper jaw bone. Our experienced surgeons will then discuss with you the best source of bone grafting material to use with your sinus augmentation. 

The most common types of bone grafts are: 

  • Autogenous: bone existing from your own body
  • Xenograft: bone from another species that is not human 
  • Alloplastic: synthetic bone graft that mimics bone
  • Allogeneic: bone graft material from a cadaver


You will be virtually pain-free as most sinus augmentations are generally performed under intravenous anesthesia. We will have a team of dental professionals there to ensure you are safe and experience minimal discomfort throughout the surgery.

  1. The surgeon will carefully cut the gum tissue to access the surgical area
  2. The tissue is retracted showing the bone beneath it
  3. A small circle is created in the bone
  4. The bony piece is then lifted against the sinus floor in the sinus cavity space
  5. The hole is then filled with bone graft
  6. The surgeon will carefully close the surgical site with stitches. 


Now the healing process starts. You can expect a little swelling, and some patients experience mild bleeding from the nose or mouth a few hours after the surgery. A few things will allow you to heal properly: 

  • Try not to blow your nose, or sneeze as this could loosen the stitches and new bone 
  • Refrain from smoking or using tobacco as this slows healing
  • You will be prescribed pain medicine and drugs to prevent congestion
  • Use a saline spray to keep your nose moist 

We will schedule a follow-up appointment with you soon after the surgery to ensure everything is healing properly. The bone will normally take 4 months to 1 year to heal completely before we place dental implants. 

Your Visit With Novato Surgeons

We hope you found this article helpful to know more about your sinus lift so you feel more confident about getting a sinus lift. This will make sure your dental implants will be there to stay. 

Our trusted and experienced oral surgeons at Novato Oral Surgery are available to answer any questions or concerns about your sinus lift procedure. 

They also specialize in other types of procedures depending on the type of dental implant selected, such as mini dental implants. Call us or schedule an appointment with us here today.

FAQ On Sinus Lifts

What Are The Risks Of A Sinus Lift?

Just like any surgery, a sinus lift does have a few complications that can occur in rare cases. The maxillary sinus can tear due to the close proximity. You can also develop a sinus infection as there will be foreign matter introduced to the site.

Does A Sinus Lift Change Facial Appearance?

Before the sinus lift, if you have missing back teeth or upper teeth, over time your facial structure may begin to sag or even develop a ‘sunken in’ look. The sinus lift and bone graft will restore the natural look to that area of the face. 

Can A Sinus Lift And Implant Be Done At The Same Time?

There are cases where the sinus lift can be done with an implant at once to prevent two procedures. Studies have shown it can be safely done, but it has shown a slightly smaller success rate of patients that did the procedures separately. This is performed on a case-by-case basis. 

When Should I Contact An Oral Surgeon?

If you feel spiky granules in your mouth, the bone graft may have dislodged. Give us a call immediately. In addition, if you have continued bleeding with bright red blood, a high fever, or loose stitches, contact us. 

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