The sinus lift (also known as sinus floor augmentation) represents an operational method seeking to establish bone volume in the lateral upper jaw. This is just the location at which we are frequently compelled to deal with insufficient bone supply due to the fact that the maxillary sinuses tend to increase and expand in the area of the maxilla bone over the years, particularly when teeth in this area have been lost. Serious periodontitis may also result in the decline of the jaw bone and the thinning out of the sinus floor. The maxillary sinus ranks among the group of the paranasal sinuses and its bony floor is the sinus floor which functions as a dividing wall between the paranasal sinus and the oral cavity.
Without a sinus lift, multiple implantations in the upper jaw area could not be performed successfully: In this case, the implant would come to a stop in the middle of the inflated maxillary sinus. During the sinus lift process, the maxillary sinus‘ bony floor (sinus floor) is thickened with bone replacement material in order to generate bone volume. Two different kinds of sinus lifts can be distinguished: the internal and the external sinus lift.
Internal Sinus Lift
During the internal (“indirect“, “closed“, “small“) sinus lift, the maxillary sinus is reached directly via the drill channel of the dental implant and consequently augmented by means of the bone replacement material. This procedure can be considered minimally invasive and is particularly applicable in situations in which merely two or three millimeters of bone height need to be gained. Furthermore, it is less expensive and time-consuming for the patient.
External Sinus Lift
The external (“open“, “direct“) sinus lift represents a multilevel procedure entailing a second point of operation which goes into action whenever more than three millimeters of additional bone height need to be obtained due to bone loss. To start with, a window is drilled into the bony wall of the maxillary sinus originating from the oral cavity, before filling the maxillary sinus above this window with a combination of patients‘ own bone and bone replacement material.