Post-Operative Instructions: Sinus Lift


After Your Surgery

Post-Operative Instructions

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

This procedure regains lost bone height in the back portion of your upper jaw. 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, you may have two post-surgical wounds: the donor site and the recipient site.

Do not under any circumstances blow your nose or sneeze holding your nose for the next 4 weeks. This may be longer if indicated. You may sniff all you like butno blowing.

Anything that causes pressure in your nasal cavity must be avoided.

  • Do not blow your nose or sneeze holding your nose.
  • 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.
  • Avoid bearing down, such 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. If necessary, nicotine patches can be prescribed.

Decongestants such as Drixoral®, Dimetapp®, or Sudafed® will help reduce pressure in the sinuses. You will also be given a prescription for antibiotics. Please take these as directed.

Oral Hygiene

Do not rinse or spit on the day of your surgery. This tends to disturb the blood clot and open the wound, and it 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 saltwater rinses the day following your procedure. Use ½ teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8-ounce glass of warm water, and gently rinse with portions of the solution, taking 5 minutes to use the entire glassful. Repeat as often as you like but at least 4–5 times daily and always after eating for the next 5 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 antibiotic rinse after 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 2 times a day will cause staining of your teeth.


Do not smoke for at least 2 weeks after surgery, if at all. Smoking dramatically increases the risk of bone graft and sinus augmentation failure.

Wearing your Prosthesis or Night Guards

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 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 denture, 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 conditions can occur. Please let us know if:

  • You notice the unexpected flow of air or liquids between your mouth and nose.
  • You are aware of several small particles of graft material being discharged from your nose.
  • You experience sinus or nasal congestion on the side your surgery was performed.
  • There is an increase in swelling in your mouth, cheek, or under your eye after 3 days.
We Are Here To Help

Please contact our office if you have any questions or issues with these instructions.