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  • Writer's pictureSoong-Ryong Jung (David) , DDS, MS, PhD

Can Dental Implants Cause Sinus Troubles?

Can Dental Implants Cause Sinus Troubles?

Dental implants have a whole host of advantages. They help replace tooth loss, create a healthy smile, and can overall improve speech and chewing. But like everything else in life, where there are advantages, there are also disadvantages. After all, when a dental surgeon screws a bolt into the jaw of a patient, there are going to be a few adverse effects in the short term. Things like swelling, and pain while recovering from dental implant surgery while the tissue is healing is normal.

However, when it comes to our bodies, not every part is a vacuum. All of them are connected to various systems to make the body function, and the mouth is no exception. So, we are going to look at one of the possible issues that dental implants may cause, sinus problems.

Our Sinuses

Our sinuses are a combination of cavities that are located near our eyes, ears, and nose. Those cavities are the reason we breathe, provide defense for our immune system, and are the reason our voice can be heard in long distances.

The anatomy of our sinuses is aptly explained by "The sinuses are hollow spaces in the skull and the facial bones around your nose. There are four pairs of sinuses, named for the bones that they're located in:

· The maxillary sinuses are located on each side of your nose, near the cheekbones.

· The frontal sinuses are located above the eyes, near your forehead.

· The ethmoid sinuses are located on each side of the bridge of your nose, near your eyes. There are three small pairs of the ethmoid sinuses.

· The sphenoid sinuses are behind the eyes, deeper into your skull."

The sinus locations that are close to the upper jaw are the ethmoid sinuses and the maxillary sinuses. This makes the idea and execution of surgery or fixing the loss on the upper jaw a lot harder than it would be on the lower jaw.

So if you are a patient who is just getting an implant in the lower jaw, as opposed to the upper one, there is no reason to worry about getting sinus issues from a dental implant.

How Dental Implants Can Cause Sinus Issues

However, if you are utilizing getting an implant in the upper jaw, there is a couple of possibilities of why dental implants could affect the sinuses. Thankfully, they are all preventable and easy to spot.

For starters, there is a chance that parts of the upper jaw have rotted away due to inflammation and the presence of periodontal bacteria. Periodontitis, in more extreme cases, will rot away the gum line, parts of bone, and other tissues that hold and connect the teeth. If the upper jaw rots away enough, then there is a good chance that it will increase the chances of the sinus cavities being exposed. Or at least closer to the surgical site.

This can make it difficult for dental surgeons to implant a tooth in the area they need to.

If dental surgeons misplace the implant, or they did not properly catch how much periodontal damage is exposing the sinus area, then it could be an issue. However, a good dental surgeon will check the appropriate images of their patient to see if they need a bone or tissue graft in the area. These examinations should be done thoroughly and before they do the dental implant.

What Happens if I have Sinus Damage Before I get My Tooth Implant?

If the dental surgeon catches something like this before the procedure, they will recommend something called a sinus augmentation procedure. According to Frontline ER, "Some dentists will choose to use a sinus augmentation procedure in case you need an implant on the upper teeth. It will mean the dentist lifts the existing bone into your sinus cavity. This is to create additional space to accommodate the bone graft. A bone graft can take four to twelve months to develop fully. This time is necessary to ensure a successful implant that can last a lifetime."

It might be a little disappointing to wait a year until you get your tooth implants. However, it is a small price to pay to make sure that there is no long term damage or sinus issues.

If you have any more questions for dental implant experts or you are looking for a dental surgeon in Plano, Texas visit

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