Bone graft and sinus lift

Bone Graft and Sinus Lift

Most dental bone grafting procedures are done to restore your bone to its previous form following tooth loss, gum disease, or trauma, as well as maintain bone structure after tooth extraction.

Bone tissue is a matrix-like structure primarily composed of a protein called collagen. It is strengthened by hydroxyapatite which are deposits of calcium and phosphate salts. Once we reach adulthood, our bodies stop depositing bones naturally. A scaffold is needed to promote bone growth with the help of chemical signaling. Lab processed bone materials are placed into deficient sites and sutured closed with a membrane to keep the graft material in place. In a period of 3-4 months, the body will start depositing new bone as it resorbs away the graft material. Eventually, the defective site will be completely filled with your natural bone, ready to be restored with an implant or other dental prosthetics.

A sinus augmentation procedure only applies to the upper jaw. This procedure regains lost bone height in the area of your upper molar teeth. It is an important procedure as it allows implant placement in an area with deficient bone due to an enlarged sinus.

What to expect after a sinus lift procedure:

Do NOT blow your nose under any circumstances for a period of 1-2 weeks. This may be longer if indicated. You may sniff all you like but NO BLOWING.

  • Do not disturb or touch the wound.
  • Avoid rinsing or spitting for 2 days to allow blood clot and graft material stabilization.
  • Do not apply pressure with your tongue or fingers to the grafted area, as the material is movable during the initial healing.
  • Do not lift or pull on the lip to look at the sutures. This can actually cause damage to the wound site and tear the sutures.
  • Do not smoke.

Scuba diving and flying in pressurized aircraft may also increase sinus pressure and should be avoided. Anything that causes pressure in your nasal cavity must be avoided. Avoid “bearing down” as when lifting heavy objects, blowing up balloons, playing musical instruments that require a blowing action or any other activity that increases nasal or oral pressure.


Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal. In order to decrease bleeding and form the necessary blood clot for healing, please bite on (do not chew) the provided gauze for approximately 20 minutes. Additional gauze is provided in the instance the initial gauze becomes saturated. To place a new gauze dressing, first moisten the gauze with water, fold it in half, place over the surgical site and bite down. A small amount of blood may ooze overnight.


Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. Swelling peaks in 24-48 hours and then gradually decreases. To minimize swelling, apply ice packs to the area of surgery, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off, for the first 24-36 hours. After 36 hours ice is ineffective.


Some discomfort after surgery can be expected. You should begin taking pain medication prior to the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate discomfort, 2-3 Advil (400-600mg Ibuprofen), may be taken every 6-8 hours. For greater discomfort, prescription medication can be taken as directed. Do not take any of the above medication if you have an allergy to it. Do not drive, operate machinery, or drink alcohol if taking prescription pain medication.


Drink plenty of fluids. Do not drink anything hot for the first day. This tends to dissolve the blood clot and can burn the anesthetized tissue. Please eat a normal healthy diet but avoid hard foods such as popcorn and nacho chips. Soft foods and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. The night of surgery, you may gently rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon salt in 8 oz. water) 8 hours after surgery. Continue the rinses 4-5 times a day for the first few days. The day after surgery, the prescription mouth rinse (if prescribed) should be used twice daily, after breakfast and before bed. Be sure to gently rinse for at least 30 seconds then let it roll out of your mouth. Do not swallow or spit vigorously. You may also gently brush your teeth being extra careful around the surgical site.

Discoloration / Bruising

In some cases, discoloration of the skin follows swelling. The development of yellow, green, or blue discoloration is due to blood spreading beneath the tissues. This is a normal postoperative occurrence, which may occur two to three days post-operatively.


If you have been placed on antibiotics, take the tablets or liquid as directed. Antibiotics will be given to help prevent infection. Call the office if you have any questions.


Please rest and engage in minimal activity for the first 2-3 days. Starting the third postoperative day, you may begin resuming normal activity.