Board Certified Periodontist, Dr. Scott O. Kissel

Revitalize Your Smile: Understanding the Sinus Lift Procedure for Enhanced Dental Implants

Behind your upper teeth and beneath your teeth lie the maxillary sinuses. These sinuses are like empty rooms. They have nothing in them. However, sometimes the natural tooth root extends into this otherwise empty sinus cavity.

When you lose one of your upper teeth or need to have one surgically extracted, there’s only a thin wall of bone separating the maxillary sinuses from the mouth. Dental implants are the ideal solution for patients who have lost natural upper teeth and need them replaced. But if the sinus wall is too thin, it’s impossible for periodontist Dr. Kissel to place dental implants in the upper jaw bone.


The solution to this problem is called a sinus lift or a sinus graft lift. During this surgical procedure, periodontist Dr. Kissel enters into the sinus cavity from the location where the lost upper tooth used to be. Once in the sinus cavity, he lifts the sinus membrane upward and inserts a bone graft into the floor of the sinus. This grafted bone becomes a part of the patient’s jaw bone, and once healed, dental implants can be placed.


Before this surgery became possible, patients with low sinuses who were missing upper teeth had no other tooth-replacement option other than wearing loose dentures. This surgery makes dental implants accessible to everyone.


For some patients, sinus augmentation and dental implant placement can be performed during the same surgery. In order for this to be possible, patients must have natural bone between the upper jaw ridge and the bottom of the sinus.


Patients who don’t have enough natural jaw bone tissue between their mouth and upper sinus will require a sinus augmentation surgery first. They’ll need to heal for several months before the dental implant can be placed.


The typical, “old school” techniques for sinus lift surgery used to leave patients with too much pain and swelling. This is because traditional surgical instruments are large in size and require a large incision site.


Today, sinus lift patients benefit tremendously from microsurgery techniques. Using micro-sized instruments usually used during eye surgery, Dr. Kissel is able to significantly reduce pain and swelling in his patients. In fact, many patients report they have no pain or discomfort at all!


Microsurgery also significantly reduces the risk of complications since the better one can see, the more knowledge one acquires resulting in careful manipulation of tissues and critical anatomy. For example, it greatly reduces the risk of perforating the sinus lining. Overall, Dr. Kissel’s use of microsurgery – something not all periodontists are trained in – provides great benefits to patients.

Have you been told you need a sinus lift before you need dental implants placed? If so, Dr. Kissel is the right person for you to speak with. Call our office today for an initial sinus lift consultation at 212-702-9088.