Sinus Floor Bone Graft


The maxillary sinuses are behind your cheeks and on top of the upper posterior (back) teeth. These sinuses are empty, air-filled spaces. Some of the roots of the natural upper teeth extend up into the maxillary sinuses. When these upper teeth are removed, there is often just a thin wall of bone separating the maxillary sinus and the oral cavity. Dental implants require sufficient vertical bone height in order to be properly supported and remain permanently stable. When the vertical bone height below the sinus is not adequate, it is not possible to place dental implants in this area.

The key to a successful and long-lasting dental implant is the quantity and quality of bone to which the implant will be attached. If bone loss has occurred due to injury, tooth loss, or periodontal disease, a sinus floor augmentation bone graft can raise the sinus floor and allow for new bone formation. A sinus lift is one of the most common bone grafting procedures for patients with bone loss in the posterior maxilla (upper jaw). The goal of the procedure is to increase vertical bone height by raising the existing maxillary sinus floor and placing grafted bone beneath it, providing adequate bone volume into which dental implants can be placed.

A Sinus Floor Bone Graft may be necessary if you:

  • are missing a significant amount of bone in the back of your upper jaw.
  • are missing most of the maxillary teeth, but require support for dental implants.

In the most common sinus floor augmentation procedure, a small incision is made in the premolar/molar region to expose the lateral aspect of the upper jaw. A small opening is made in this bone through which the membrane lining the sinus is pushed upward. The underlying space is filled with bone grafting material, either from your own body or more often from a tissue bank. After the bone graft is positioned, the incision is sutured and the healing process begins. After several months  the bone graft consolidates and becomes incorporated into the patient’s jaw. Dental Implants of sufficient length and width can then be placed into an area that previously did not have adequate vertical bone height.