After Sinus Lift

The following information applies when you have had a sinus lift augmentation procedure in your upper jaw. This procedure regains lost bone height in the area of your first and second molar and occasionally premolars. It is an important procedure as it allows implant placement in an area that could not be implanted otherwise because of insufficient bone height due to an enlarged sinus.

The bone that has been grafted is most commonly a combination of freeze-dried bone, artificial synthetic bone and your own bone. Because of this, sometimes you may have two post-surgical wounds: the donor site and the recipient site.

DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BLOW YOUR NOSE FOR THE NEXT FOUR (2) WEEKS. This may be longer if indicated. You may sniffle all you like but NO NOSE BLOWING.

  • Do not blow your nose or sneeze holding your nose. Sneeze with your mouth open.
  • Do not drink with straws and do not spit for 1-2 weeks. Scuba diving and flying in pressurized aircraft may also increase sinus pressure and should be avoided. A decongestant, such as Sudafed, will help reduce pressure in the sinuses.
  • You may also be given a prescription for antibiotics. Please take these as directed. Anything that causes pressure in your nasal cavity must be avoided.
  • Avoid bearing down as when lifting heavy objects, blowing up balloons, playing musical instruments that require a blowing action or any other activity that increases nasal or oral pressure.
  • Smoking must be stopped.


Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection

Oral Hygiene

Do not rinse vigorously or spit on the day of your surgery. This tends to disturb the blood clot, open the wound and can prolong bleeding and slow healing. You should not have a significant amount of blood in your mouth. Saliva can be swallowed, even if slightly blood-tinged.

  • Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential to reduce the risk of infection. Start salt water rinses 24 hours following your procedure. Use one-half teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8-ounce glass of warm water and gently rinse with portions of the solution (taking enough time to use the entire glassful). Repeat as often as you like, but at least four to five times daily and always after eating for the next five days.
  • Do not brush in the area of surgery for 48 hours. When brushing, be very gentle. When expectorating, also be gentle.
  • We may prescribe an antibiotic rinse (Chlorhexadine, Periogard, Peridex) for certain procedures. This rinse should be used in the morning and at bedtime after routine mouth care. Do not eat or drink or rinse your mouth after using the medicated rinse. Using this rinse more than two times a day will cause staining of your teeth, which can be removed with a routine dental cleaning.


Do not smoke for at least two weeks after surgery, if at all. As discussed at your consultation, smoking dramatically increases the risk of bone graft and sinus lift failure.

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Wearing your Prosthesis or Nightguards

Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should not be used immediately after surgery until your post-operative appointment unless specifically instructed otherwise. Please contact the office if there is any question.

  • If you have a temporary flipper to wear, do not insert it until the numbness in the area is gone.
  • When it is inserted it should not touch the gums in the area of the surgery. If it does, this can cause ulceration of the wound edges and breakdown of the suture margins. This can lead to loss of the graft.
  • If you have questions about the fit of your flipper, partial or complete denture, do not wear it until your general dentist or our office can see you.

Post-Operative Problems or Complications

As with any procedure, unexpected post-operative issues can occur. If you notice the unexpected flow of air or liquids between your mouth and nose, please let us know immediately.

  • If you are aware of several small particles of graft material being discharged from your nose, let us know as well.
  • If you experience sinus or nasal congestion on the side your surgery was performed, let us know.
  • If there is an increase in swelling in your mouth, cheek or under your eye after 3 days, let us know.

It is our desire that your recovery is as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have questions about your progress, please call the office. Please try to call during office hours; however, a 24-hour answering service is available for after-hours contact with a doctor. Santa Barbara Center for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery - SB Office Phone Number 805-569-1889

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