Sinus augmentation, also referred to as a "sinus lift," is one of the most commonly performed bone grafting procedures for patients with bone loss in the upper jaw. The upper back jaw has traditionally been one of the most difficult areas to successfully place dental implants due to insufficient bone quantity and quality and the close proximity to the sinus. The goal of the procedure is to grow bone in the floor of the maxillary sinus above the alveolar ridge.
The entire procedure is all done from the inside of the patient’s mouth. A small flap is elevated to expose the upper jaw, and then a window is made into the sinus. The sinus is covered by a very thin membrane. This membrane is carefully elevated away, and bone graft material is packed into the newly created space. The tissue is then put back into place with sutures. The bone graft added usually requires nine months of healing before it becomes solid enough to support dental implants.