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: