Before reading this section, It will help to be familiar with implant therapy.

Your Maxillary Sinus is a hollow cavity that resides above your maxillary posterior teeth (premolars, molars).  As a teenager, the floor (or inferior border) of the sinus is approximately at the level of your nose.  As you age, the sinus undergoes a process called "pneumatization", in which it expands in an inferior direction.  As the sinus pneumatizes, it becomes closer to your maxillary posterior teeth, sometimes appearing to be "tented" up by the tooth roots.  Following extractions of maxillary posterior teeth, the sinus can pneumatize further.  Since the sinus is a hollow cavity, this can minimize the amount of bone available for implant therapy.  If there is inadequate room for an implant in the posterior maxilla due to proximity to the maxillary sinus, a procedure called a "sinus lift" or "sinus tap" can be done.  This is a safe and predictable surgery which involves tenting the sinus membrane up and placing a bone graft underneath it.  The bone graft is not inserted into the sinus, but rather underneath it, positioning the sinus up to a more superior location.  Over time this bone graft is replaced with your own bone.  

Depending on the extent of pneumatization and the available bone, a sinus lift may be done at the time of implant placement, requiring no additional healing time or restorative delay.  Other, more severe cases, may require sinus lift with delayed implant placement.

To find out more about implant therapy, see videos below or schedule an appointment.

          Vertical Sinus Tap                        Lateral Sinus Tap