After Horizontal Sinus Lift Surgery

The following information applies when upper jawbone height or width have been lost. The graft is placed to help restore your jawbone in preparation for possible implant replacement of the missing tooth or teeth.

You have had a Sinus Lift Augmentation procedure in your upper jaw. This procedure regains lost bone height in the area of your molars and 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.


Do not blow your nose or sneeze pinching your nostrils. Sneeze with your mouth open. Do not drink with straws and do not spit. Scuba diving and flying in pressurized aircraft may also increase sinus pressure and should be avoided. Over the counter decongestants such as Mucinex D, Drixoral, Dimetapp, or Sudafed will help reduce pressure in the sinuses. Anything that causes pressure in your nasal cavity must be avoided. Avoid bearing downas 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. You may see a small amount of blood coming from your nose, do not be alarmed and just gently wipe it away.

Smoking should be stopped prior to the sinus procedure. If you cannot stop smoking, please speak to the Doctor for information and suggestions.

Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection and take the prescribed pain medications to lessen discomfort and swelling.

Oral Hygiene

Do not rinse 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 the day 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 five minutes 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 the teeth in the area of surgery for 48 hours. When brushing, be very gentle. When expectorating, also be gentle.

We may prescribe an antiseptic rinse (i.e. Periogard, Listerine, Crest Pro Health) 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.


Do not smoke after surgery. As discussed at your consultation, smoking dramatically increases the risk of bone graft and sinus augmentation failure. Please let the Doctor know if you cannot cease smoking.

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 place it until the numbness in the area is gone. When it is placed it should not touch the gums in the area of the surgery. If it does, this can traumatize the wound leading 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

Please call our office 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.
  • 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.

It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have questions about your progress, please call the office.