Drs. Winter, Baradarian, Sivitz

Sinus Grafts of the Maxilla: An Alternative Technique Using Osteotomes

Sinus grafts for the maxillary posterior are recommended when there is too little bone under these sinus cavities to insert a dental implant. When this occurs, some form of treatment is necessary to increase bone volume. While sinus grafts, sometimes called sinus lifts, are safe, predictable, and are a valuable treatment approach, extra time (six-to-nine months) is needed for forming new bone, not to mention the expense, potential complications, and the use of foreign bone graft material. There is an alternative to sinus grafts that permits implants to be inserted in atrophic bone: the osteotome lift.

Diagrams of an Osteotome Technique

The black area above the stippled bone represents the sinus cavity. There is not enough bone to insert an implant.

The initial hole stops short of the sinus floor.

An osteotome pushes through the bone

The osteotome advances, infracturing the sinus floor without penetrating through the sinus membrane.

The osteotome reaches 10 mm.

The dental implant is inserted.


An osteotome sinus lift reduces the need for a traditional maxillary sinus graft and avoids using bone graft material while enabling a dental implant to be inserted into atrophic bone. This surgery heals faster than a sinus graft and enables the crown or bridge to be applied to the implant sooner than with other traditional methods.

Tags: sinus grafts, periodontics, dental implants, laser gum surgery, dentist, dental practice, gum treatment. LANAP, bleeding gums, periodontal disease

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