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What is Sinus Expansion? Do I Need a Sinus Lift? Sinus is Big and Close…Burbank Dental Implant Expert Reviews

Your sinuses are big hollow holes above your upper teeth.  The roots of your upper back teeth are really close to your sinus. In order to have dental implants in that area, sometimes a sinus lift bone graft is necessary to treat the expanded sinus.  Whether you live in Burbank ,Glendale or Los Angeles, all of our sinuses pretty much expand when teeth are lost.

When you lose your teeth, your sinus expands.  This destroys the bone needed to have dental implants. When these upper teeth are removed, there is often just a paper thin wall of bone separating the maxillary sinus and the mouth.

Sinus              Sinus7                    Sinus8
Normal                     Moderate expansion        Severe Expansion

When all teeth are present, the sinus is protected from expansion which is really bone loss. The presence of teeth keeps the maxillary sinus in place. The expanding sinus destroys surrounding bone.


Most of the sinus lift bone grafts I do in my Burbank, California office are to add back the lost bone height from the expansion of the sinus.  If you are missing teeth on both sides, then usually the bone loss happens on both sides too. Dental implants prevent bone loss.


You can prevent the need for a sinus lift bone graft by either placing your implant on the same day the tooth is extracted (immediate implant) or by placing the dental implants within a few months of losing the tooth or teeth.

There are two main ways you can add bone to an expanded sinus: (follow links for details)

            Internal Sinus Lift

            Lateral Window Sinus Graft

In cases where the sinus has greatly expanded, your body may form or accentuate “septae” in your sinuses.  Septae are like “cross bar stabilizers in the sinus when the sinus is big and expanded.  Sinuses with septae should be grafted by a very experienced implant surgeon to reduce the chance of  the sinus membrane ripping (perforation.)

Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry
Burbank, California

10 thoughts on “What is Sinus Expansion? Do I Need a Sinus Lift? Sinus is Big and Close…Burbank Dental Implant Expert Reviews

  1. Hi my face has started sagging on the right side where two teeth were extracted last year…. ( upper back Molar & the tooth 3 spaces away from it) is there anyway the sinus lift will “ Lift” my smile too fill in the facial droop? Or should I do braces after the implant? I already did one of the implants I just want my face back !

  2. Hi Dr. Amin,

    I’m wondering if sinus expansion from back molar extraction can affect facial esthetics at all? Like would the bone loss affect cheekbones or the facial structure? Thanks so much for your time and expertise.


    1. Hello Victoria,

      The short answer is no. The sinuses are internal. When they expand from tooth loss, it is not visible on the outside.

      If you lose all of your upper teeth or a segment of upper back teeth, the bone that held the teeth in place dissolved away. That is called the alveolus. If enough of your alveolus dissolves, it will change your facial appearance.

      The best thing to do, is replace the teeth as soon as possible. This prevents major bone loss


      Ramsey Amin DDS

  3. Are synthetic grafting materials a good option if one does not want to have human or bovine bone placed? I am considering upper back molar implants and do not feel comfortable at all with human or bovine grafting.


    1. Each material had its own unique properties and uses. Synthetic in general is probably the worst chioce if the graft is large or on a critical portion of the implant. Is it for your sinus?

      Dr. Amin

      1. It would be for the sinus, tooth #14. If I used my own bone, what is the process for that? A hospital stay? Also, would it be possible to use bovine instead and would that be safe?

        1. My farthest back implant failed. I’m getting Hybrid implant dentures. Is it possible to go with just five teeth on that side as to not have to go through more? I’ve been through a lot already and am very happy to go with 11 top teeth. Is there any reason this would be a bad idea? Just can’t take anymore pain!!! Thanks, Jay Bender

          1. Hi Jay,

            Hybrid fixed implant dentures break and wear all the time! The last thing you want to do is under engineer the foundation.

            I would suggest porcelain instead such as the prettau fixed dental implant bridge. It is super strong and looks great and has low to no maintenance.


            Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
            Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
            Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry

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About Ramsey Amin, DDS

Dr. Ramsey Amin has extensive experience in surgical and restorative implant dentistry. As one of only less than 400 Diplomates of the American Board of Oral Implantology/ Implant Dentistry (ABOI/ID) he is considered an expert, and board-certified in dental implants. He is a former instructor at the UCLA School of Dentistry.