Sinus Lifts refer to grafting bone in the floor of the maxillary sinus to facilitate implant placement.
A sinus lift is performed in the molar or premolar area of the upper jaw. Once teeth have been missing for a period of time, the floor of the maxillary sinus drops down – enlarges. This resorbs or shortens the bone on the dental ridge where the implant is to to placed. When the vertical height becomes about 8 mm or less, the sinus lift is performed to allow placement of 16 mm length implants.
This is simply done by creating an opening in the side of the upper jaw (maxilla), lifting the membrane that lines the sinus up. The implants are placed, which provide a tent pole for the sinus membrane. Bone if then packed in around the implants in this area. The source of bone is either from the side of the patients lower jaw, or their hip.
Alternatively to harvesting bone from the patient, via on-site tissue engineering – we can place BMP (Bone Morphogenic Protein) into the site. BMP will draw in stem cells and grow bone – the patients bone with their DNA. This basically makes for a painfree surgery, and generates the patients own bone. All types of these grafts are mixed with platelet rich plasma (PRP), and 4 months later the implants are ready to function and be fully loaded with teeth. When utilizing autogenous bone (your own) or BMP these procedures have a success rate of 98% plus.
Dr. Loetscher feels that substituting banked bone – either from human cadavers or cows (bovine bone) – has a sigificantly lower success rate – short term and long-term, and typically does not utilize it.