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Dental Implants

Sinus Lift With Dental Implant Placement

Usually the back three or four upper teeth are either next to or inside the maxillary sinus. When a person needs a tooth removed and replaced in this section of the mouth, the sinus may need to be raised to make room for implants. In the picture above, the classification of implant sites are labeled A through D.

Classification of implant sites

  • Class A: 10 mm or more of bone present under sinus
  • Class B: 7 to 9 mm of residual bone present under sinus
  • Class C: 4 to 6 mm of residual bone present under sinus
  • Class D: 1 to 3 mm of residual bone present under sinus
  • Class E: Absent or ablated sinus

Measurements can be taken on X-ray images that allow periodontists to measure the available bone under the sinus. Generally if a patient has 5 millimeters or more of bone under the sinus, an implant can be placed with a sinus lift. For those sites with less than 5 millimeters of bone, a separate sinus lift must be performed (discussed in the next section).

As you can tell from the picture above, the maxillary sinus can be gently raised using a series of special instruments. Once adequate space is obtained between the sinus and existing bone, a bone graft is added to lift the sinus, followed by placing the implant(s). The bone graft acts as a natural “tent” to raise the sinus and also begins the process of the body forming new bone in the sinus and around the implant(s).


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