The maxillary sinuses are hollow, air-filled spaces in the bone above our upper back teeth between the teeth and the eye sockets, and are one of the five pairs of sinus cavities throughout our skull bones.
When the upper back teeth (usually molars and premolars) are lost, the sinus cavity located just above tends to expand and drop down into the jaw bone in the area of the missing teeth (pneumatization). Even if the teeth are still present, there is sometimes not enough height of bone between the sinus floor and the gum to allow adequately sized implants to be placed. Sinus grafting allows your dentist to surgically lift up the floor of the sinus cavity and place bone graft materials that will stimulate adequate growth of bone for implants to be placed.
When Sinus Grafting is Performed
Sinus grafting can be done as a preliminary surgery to prepare the bone for implant placement or can be performed at the same time as the implant placement, if there is enough bone to stabilize the implants while they are healing. As always, you need to be comfortable that your surgeon is adequately trained and knowledgeable about this surgery and any potential complications. It is important to review and discuss with your dentist all options available to you in your particular circumstances prior to making treatment decisions.