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The upper posterior teeth are located just below the maxillary sinus. The sinus is a large hollow space in your cheek bone on either side of your nose which helps to humidify and warm the air that you breathe in. As we age, the sinuses enlarge, especially when upper posterior teeth are missing or have been extracted.

The sinus bone above the teeth is thin and if your roots are long or close to this bone, an opening in the sinus may occur during a dental extraction.

If dental implants are desired in the posterior upper jaw but the jaw bone itself is “too thin” vertically, your surgeon may have recommended a “sinus bone graft” (a sinus augmentation). The bone is added between your jaw bone and the maxillary sinus membrane (which lines the inside of the bony sinus). To make room for the bone, the sinus membrane has to be moved upward, or "lifted" and then bone is grafted.

It is sometimes possible to perforate into the actual sinus with either an extraction or a sinus-lift bone graft. This small opening theoretically can allow bacteria from your mouth to enter your sinus and create a sinus infection. We will close any sinus openings with stitches or other materials at the time of your surgery.

The following instructions are intended to aid in sinus healing by preventing infection and to allow the sinus membrane communication or opening to seal up. Please follow them for 2 weeks in addition to your other post-operative instructions:

  • Do NOT blow your nose. Increasing air pressure in the sinus cavities will cause the perforation to reopen.
  • Try not to sneeze. If necessary, sneeze with your mouth open and without pinching your nose to keep sinus pressure down.
  • Do not use a straw
  • Use tissues to control any secretions with gentle hand pressure rather than forceful blowing.
  • Do NOT play any wind instruments or blow up balloons.
  • Do NOT smoke cigarettes, cigars or pipes. Do NOT vape.
  • Do NOT fly in an airplane.
  • Avoid swimming, submersing your head and strenuous exercise
  • Eat a soft or liquid diet and chew on the opposite side of your mouth as much as possible.
  • Continue to brush your teeth, but gently, near the surgical area. Rinse three times a day with warm water or salt and water. (1 teaspoon salt to I cap of water).
  • It is not uncommon to have a slight amount of bleeding from your nose for several days. Control any nasal bleeding with pressure on the nose.
  • For nasal congestion, OTC decongestants may be very helpful and we recommend: Afrin Spray (2-3 sprays per nostril twice a day for 3 days ONLY) or Sudafed ER (120mg twice a day for 7-14 days)
  • Take any prescribed antibiotics as directed until done. If you develop any side effects or if you have any questions, please call our office.