- by Dr. Ravneet Dhillon
- February 21, 2023
What is Sinus Lift Surgery?
Sinus lift surgery is a technique recommended by the dentist when you want to get dental implants but lack the amount of jaw bone needed to secure the implant. It is also known as sinus augmentation or sinus graft and is usually performed by periodontists or oral surgeons.
Dental specialists can use various types of techniques to perform sinus lift surgery which involves augmentation or lifting up of the maxillary sinus in order to make more space for the new bone.
The maxillary sinuses are air-filled cavities are located just above the back portion of the maxilla or upper jaw and by lifting them and grafting bone in between, the doctor can get more bone to place a dental implant.
Lack of enough upper jaw bone can inhibit the proper anchoring of the new dental implant, making it unsuitable for the very tasks it is meant to perform like chewing food, and may also lead to the failure of the implants.
Sinus lift surgery is recommended if the dentist determines that you have less than 4 to 6 millimeters of bone height in the back portion of your jaw.
Sinus Lift Surgery procedure is performed in a dental clinic and you should always choose a competent and experienced dentist for the procedure.
Dentists at Morgan Hill Dentistry perform several sinus lift surgery procedures successfully every year and have access to the latest knowledge and techniques.
However, like every medical procedure, the sinus lift also needs some aftercare and you should be aware of how to take care of your mouth after the procedure.
Be careful to not disturb the wound. You should avoid rinsing or spitting for one day after the surgery. Do not touch the wound and be as gentle and careful as you can around the bone grafting area.
There are some other precautions you must take and signs you should watch out for after the procedure.
What are the Precautions after Sinus Lift Surgery?
- You must avoid any activity that causes pressure in your nasal cavity
- Avoid blowing your nose or sneezing while holding your nose for at least one month after the surgery.
- Make sure to sneeze with your mouth open, if needed.
- Avoid drinking with a straw, scuba diving, and flying in pressurized aircraft as these can lead to increasing sinus pressure.
- Avoid activities that cause bearing down, lifting heavy objects, blowing up balloons or playing musical instruments that need a blowing action, or any activities that increase nasal or oral pressure.
- You must avoid smoking after the procedure. You can use nicotine patches if required. There are some over the Counter decongestants such which help reduce pressure in the sinuses.
- Avoid strenuous physical activities or keep them to a bare minimum immediately following surgery as it may cause throbbing or bleeding to occur.
Besides the above precautions, there are some other things you should be aware of post your sinus augmentation
What is the healing process of Sinus Augmentation and what should I know?
The dissolvable stitches dissolve in around 5-7 days. However, in the case of non-dissolvable sutures, the doctor will inform you when they should be removed.
It’s a good idea to stop the pain from starting itself. Thus you should start taking the pain medication before the local anesthesia wears off.
The prescribed medication should be taken as directed. However, make sure to tell your doctor about allergies to medicine, if any, or if you suffer from any liver or kidney disease. The
numbness can last for up to 12 hours or a little more. You should continue taking the pain medication invariably for the first few days to avoid pain and swelling.
You must make sure to take the prescribed antibiotics from the day of surgery itself as they will help to fight and prevent infection.
The bleeding after the surgery normally stops within a few hours. However, some oozing, redness of saliva, or occasional bleeding for the first 3 days is normal. You can prevent excessive bleeding by firmly biting on a piece of gauze placed directly on the surgical wound for 30 minutes. However, if the bleeding does not stop even after the above measures, a moistened black tea bag can be placed over the surgical site with gauze pads over it, maintaining a firm biting pressure for at least 30 minutes.
However, in case excessive bleeding continues, call your doctor for further instructions. At Morgan Hill Dentistry, we guide our patients appropriately for a smooth and hassle-free recovery.
Swelling & Bruising
Some swelling is very normal after most oral surgeries and it can increase for 3 days and begin to subside by the 5th day. You can apply cold compresses to the face for 20 minutes off and on as much as you can for the first 36 hours.
Try to sit and sleep with your head elevated with 2-3 pillows, or on a recliner for a couple of days. You can switch to gentle heat fomentation to help reduce the swelling after 36 hours.
There can be some Bruising after the surgery too, depending upon the surgery and the patient’s inclination to bruise. However, the bruising normally resolves, as any other bruise in a few days to a maximum of 2 weeks.
Oral Hygiene & Rinsing
Good oral hygiene is extremely important for adequate healing. You can resume gently brushing your teeth with an extra soft brush the next morning.
You may avoid toothpaste initially if it causes you discomfort. However, be careful to not brush the 2 adjacent teeth on either side of the graft site for the first 5 days.
You may gently brush the tooth surfaces of the adjacent teeth after 5 days, taking care that the bristles don’t disturb the graft site.
Avoid rinsing or spitting forcefully as this may cause the blood clot to dislodge, causing pain or bleeding. You can begin to gently rinse your mouth with warm salty water after the meals once 24 hours have elapsed after the surgery.
This will help to soothe the gums and keep food particles out of the surgical site. A medicated mouthwash can also be used a couple of days after the surgery if prescribed by the dentist.
Make sure to drink plenty of fluids with an emphasis on water post-surgery. However, avoid using a straw totally.
You should avoid all kinds of carbonated beverages, hot foods, and liquids for the first few days. You must also avoid the foods that require chewing while you are still numb, as you may end up inadvertently biting yourself. Start with eating softer foods and gradually return to a normal diet as and when it becomes comfortable for you to do so.
Wearing Prosthesis or Night Guard
You should totally avoid wearing Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures after surgery until your first post-operative appointment unless it is particularly instructed otherwise by your oral surgeon.
In case you have a temporary flipper to wear, avoid placing it until the numbness in the area is gone. When placed, make sure that it does not touch the gums in the area of the surgery as this can cause ulceration of the wound edges or cause a breakdown of the suture margins, leading to loss of the bone graft (if placed).
When Should I Notify The Doctor?
Sinus Lift Surgery is usually a safe surgery without any drastic side effects or repercussions. Our expert team at Morgan Hill Dentistry is highly competent in performing the procedure without any major post-surgery issues. However, you must immediately inform your doctor if:
- There is persistent heavy bleeding even after 5-6 hours of continuously applied pressure
- The swelling persists after 5 to 6 days or gets worse beyond this period.
- You experience symptoms of an allergy or reaction to the medication. This may include a rash, hives, itching, severe diarrhea, vomiting, etc.
- If there is an increase in pain or swelling with a bad taste in the mouth even after 4 to 5 days of the surgery.
- A fever that goes above 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
- There is a feeling of numbness more than 24 hours after the surgery.
If you are looking for Sinus Augmentation for Dental Implants, feel free to contact Morgan Hill Dentistry.
We believe in providing high-quality services to our patients, making sure that they are at complete ease in the dental chair.
Our post-treatment follow-up and care are reputed to be one of the best in the business and we have years of experience in keeping our patient’s teeth and smile in top condition!