Were you aware that around 70% of Americans feel self-conscious about their teeth?

The wonderful news is that modern dentistry has made it possible to correct a huge range of dental problems. If you’re in need of a dental implant, then your surgeon may also suggest getting a sinus lift as well.

Have you been wondering, “What is a sinus lift exactly?” Read on to learn all about the procedure, recovery, and more.

What Is a Sinus Lift and Why Do People Need It?

A sinus lift is a procedure that shifts the maxillary sinuses above your upper jaw up to make more room in the mouth for new bone. There are plenty of reasons why a person may not have the desired amount of jawbone. Cancer, genetics, periodontal disease, tooth loss, and even birth defects could cause a person to have minimal jawbone density or lose some over time.

The reason why oral surgeons may need to complete a bone graft in the jaw is to create a stronger anchor for dental implants. Dental implants can not only improve a person’s confidence after they’ve lost teeth, but they can also allow them to chew food and talk better. Without this thicker jawbone available, dental implants could fail or fall out.

How Much Does a Sinus Lift Cost?

Since an oral surgeon performs a sinus lift, you may be able to get a significant portion of the surgery covered if you have good dental insurance.

It’s worth taking the time to discuss this procedure with your dental insurance provider so you can find the best oral surgeon near you and pay as little as possible for their care. Whether you have dental insurance or not, lots of facilities offer payment plans to make the surgery more accessible.

Every oral surgeon charges their own fees and some sinus lifts are more challenging than others depending on each individual’s facial structure. This is why there’s a wide price range for a sinus lift. You can expect your procedure to cost between $1,500 and $5,000, but your oral surgeon will walk you through the charges before you move forward.

How Can You Prepare for a Sinus Augmentation?

Surgeries of any kind can be an intimidating experience, but it’s helpful to try to stay as calm as you can before your surgery. You’ll have an in-depth consultation before your surgery is scheduled so you can discuss goals and what to expect. For many people, learning more about their procedure helps eliminate the fear of the unknown.

The good news is that preparing for a sinus lift surgery is easy. If your oral surgeon suggests putting you under general anesthesia, then you’ll need to abstain from eating or drinking for eight hours before the procedure. You can give your teeth a nice cleaning before you go and bring a loved one along so they can drive you home once you’re finished.

What Happens During the Sinus Lift Procedure?

There are a handful of different approaches that your oral surgeon may take depending on your unique needs, so it’s best to ask for details during your consultation. As a general rule of thumb, though, there are some basics that you can expect to happen. First, you’ll need to be sedated in some manner so that you don’t experience any pain during the procedure.

Next, your oral surgeon will carefully cut into your gums to expose the jawbone and cut a small portion of the bone. They’ll lift the bone into the sinus cavity so that your sinus is smaller. From there, they’ll graft new bone to fill the space of the bone that was lifted so that your jawbone will be thicker.

Once this is complete, they’ll suture you up.

What Is Sinus Lift Recovery Like?

If you’re among the majority of Americans who’ve had their wisdom teeth removed, then you’ll be relieved to know that the recovery for a sinus lift has lots of similarities. The top priority is to prevent infection, which is why many oral surgeons prescribe antibiotics. You need to finish the full course of your antibiotics even if you think the incision is fine.

You’ll need to avoid brushing your teeth for around two days so your wound won’t get aggravated, but you can use a saltwater rinse to cleanse your mouth. You should also eat plenty of soft foods to minimize chewing and abstain from drinking with a straw. To speed up your recovery, you should get lots of rest and use a cold compress on your face to reduce swelling and pain.

To stay comfortable, you’ll have to take pain medication as needed. You can expect to start feeling better within a week, but it’s important to know that your bone graft won’t be solidified until about six months. Your oral surgeon will give you a full list of recovery instructions so you can stay healthy.

What Should You Look Out for During Recovery?

Experienced oral surgeons will keep your risks as low as possible, but every surgery could come with some negative side effects. While you won’t feel great during the recovery period, some signs are serious enough to warrant a trip to the oral surgeon to check on the incision. The first telltale sign that you should call your oral surgeon is if you experience worsening swelling or bleeding two or three days after the procedure.

If you’ve sneezed or coughed hard, then it’s possible for the bone graft to shift and cause pain. If you suspect that this has occurred or you notice that the incision seems infected, then it’s best to get checked out.

Are You in Need of a Sinus Lift?

Getting a sinus lift makes it possible to achieve the smile of your dreams in some cases. Now that you’ve read this guide, you’ll know what to expect.

Are you looking for a talented oral surgeon near Hickory, Statesville, or Morganton, NC? Contact us to learn more about how we can help.