A common limitation for implant surgery is quantity of bone. This can occur horizontally or vertically. In the upper back part of the mouth, the vertical limitation frequently happens due to proximity of the maxillary sinus. This sinus is a hollow space that does not provide a dental implant with rigid support. In order to place an implant, sinus grafting surgery is frequently necessary.
Although at times it may be necessary to have a separate procedure to graft the sinus, alternative options are available and frequently preferred. One option is called the crestal or vertical sinus lift. This procedure is done simultaneously with the implant surgery and results in 1) fewer procedures to complete tooth replacement, 2) significantly less cost, 3) significantly less pain and almost no swelling and 4) less than half the healing time compared to sinus grafting surgery. These many benefits are why this approach is preferred over the alternatives.
The incision is about 5 mm long to access the bone where the implant will be placed. Through this tiny incision the entire surgery is performed and completed, resulting in the placement of the dental implant.
No sutures are needed and the gum tissue heals over the next couple weeks. In these particular cases, the implant requires 3-4 months of healing after which the crown is made.