Dental implant placement can be performed simultaneously with the sinus elevation procedure or following a healing period that can last 6-9 months. Immediate placement during sinus elevation reduces overall healing time and eliminates another surgical procedure, which can be desirable to patients. The decision to place an implant during sinus augmentation is dependent on the presence of adequate bone volume and quality to provide for initial stability of the implant. Studies in 1999 recommended at least 5mm of native bone for immediate implant placement during sinus augmentation. However, more recent studies in 2006 found that implant stability can be achieved with less than 5mm.
Lateral Window Sinus Augmentation:
The lateral approach involves is performed to gain access to the sinus cavity. A bony window is created in the lateral maxillary wall, the Sinus membrane is elevated, and bone grafting material is a combination of autogenous bone and allograft. An absorbable collagen membrane is placed between the bone graft and the membrane as well as over the bony window.
This technique is usually the preferred method of sinus elevation in situations of poor bone quality and minimal residual bone height because it allows for direct visualization and accurate bone placement and volume at the position of the implant. Also, tearing of the membrane can be easily treated, minimizing contamination of the graft during healing.