Can Dental Implants Cause Sinus Problems When Placed in the Upper Jaw?

The upper jaw and the sinus cavity share the same space. This means that dental implants placed in the upper jaw may sometimes be very close to the sinus cavity. If you suffer from sinus allergies, then you might be worried about the impact that a dental implant will have on your sinus cavity. The effect on your sinus cavity depends on several factors.

There Will Be No Effect If You Have Sufficient Bone

Under normal circumstances, the layer of bone between the upper teeth and the sinus cavity is very thin. This is why tooth infections from upper back teeth sometimes spread into the sinus cavity. But if you replace a lost tooth with a dental implant soon after tooth extraction, the bone shouldn't be an issue. Wait too long, however, and the bone around the missing tooth will resorb.

If the bone resorbs where your tooth was extracted, then you won't have enough bone to place a dental implant. If your dentist did place an implant, that implant would probably protrude into the sinus cavity and increase the chance of sinus infections.

Sinus Infections From Dental Implants Are Very Rare

In many cases, dental implants protrude slightly into the sinus cavity without any complications. Only in very rare cases will a sinus infection occur because of a dental implant. And even if an infection does occur, you can treat that sinus infection with medication. The most important consideration is not whether you will develop a sinus cavity, but whether you have enough bone to support a dental implant.

A Bone Graft Can Bolster the Bone under Your Sinus Cavity

The sinus floor is already thin before tooth loss occurs. But when bone loss occurs in the aftermath of tooth loss, that floor becomes even thinner. This will prevent dental implant placement because there won't be enough bone to support a dental implant. Before you can have a dental implant placed, you need a bone graft to bolster the bone around the site of the lost tooth.

Once your dentist places the bone graft into your upper jawbone, you'll need to wait several months before that graft integrates with your jawbone. Once that happens, the dentist can place the implant without affecting your sinus cavity.

If you have lost an upper tooth, the best thing to do is replace the tooth with an implant as quickly as possible. That way, you can ensure you have enough bone to prevent your dental implant from entering the sinus cavity. Learn more by contacting dentists who offer dental implant services.