Sinus lifts

What is a sinus lift?

A sinus lift is a surgical procedure which some people need before having implants placed in their upper jaw.

It involves placing a bone graft between your upper jaw and the membrane of the sinuses that are closest to your back teeth (also known as molars). The sinus lift will then naturally fuse with your jaw, allowing an implant to be placed.

Why is a sinus lift necessary?

Implants are surgically fused into your jawbone. That means there needs to be enough bone surrounding the implant to allow it to heal properly.

As we age, our sinus cavity increases in size and bone loss occurs. This can also happen after an accident, a difficult extraction, if you have gum disease or if you’ve had a cyst or tumour removed. This sometimes means there isn’t enough bone height for dental implants to be placed in the upper jaw.

Although it may sound daunting, sinus lifts are a fairly common procedure and will only be carried out by an experienced dentist or surgeon. If you feel particularly anxious about the procedure, let your dentist know and they may be able to offer you dental sedation to help you relax.

How much do sinus lifts cost?

The cost of sinus lifts depends on the complexity of the procedure, the size of the graft you need and what material is used. Your dentist will give you a clear breakdown of treatment costs once they’ve recommended you a treatment plan.

How is a sinus lift performed?

Your dentist will tell you if you need a sinus lift once you’ve had a clinical assessment. This is when your dentist assesses your mouth to see what kind of treatment you need and if you’re suitable for implants. They may also suggest you have a 3D CBCT scan to assess the condition of your jaw.

Depending on the complexity of the procedure you need, you may have your sinus lift performed in your practice (under local anaesthetic) or in hospital. If a complex sinus lift procedure is required, for instance where bone from your hip is used, this will be done in hospital under general anaesthetic.


Once you’ve been given your anaesthetic, your dentist or surgeon will cut into the gum and then open a ‘window’ in the jawbone to reveal the sinus membrane. The new bone material is then placed into the space between your jaw and the sinus membrane and a collagen membrane might also be fixed on top of the bone material to keep it in position. The gum tissue is then closed with stitches.


After the procedure, your gum might be swollen for a little while and you may experience some bleeding from your nose or mouth. You might also experience some pain in your gum, which you should be able to manage with over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen.

Your dentist may give you antibiotics to prevent infection and anti-inflammatories for the swelling. A week later, you’ll have the stitches removed and your dentist will check the progress of your healing. It’s important you look after your sinus lift following the procedure so it heals properly. Find out more about sinus lift aftercare.

Integration and healing

Depending on the material used in your sinus lift, it usually takes between four to nine months for the bone graft to integrate with your jawbone. Once the gum has healed, you’ll be ready to have your implants placed.

Book an implant consultation

All our dentists who fit implants have undergone further postgraduate training and are fully qualified to offer implant treatment. If you’re interested in implant treatment or think you may need a sinus lift, get in touch with your local practice to discuss your options.

Find out more

More about dental implants including sinus lift aftercare, bone grafting and what happens when you have an implant placed.

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Bupa Dental Care is a trading name of Oasis Dental Care Limited. Registered in England and Wales No: 00478127. Registered office: Bupa Dental Care, Vantage Office Park, Old Gloucester Road, Hambrook, Bristol, United Kingdom BS16 1GW.

Oasis Dental Care Limited has a number of trading names including Bupa Dental Care. For a list of all our different trading names please follow this link.

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