Breast lift, what is it and what does it consist of?

Do you know the sinus lift technique? Perhaps you have heard someone you know say "I can't have implants because I have no bone" or "I have lost my gums and I can't have implants".

It is true that after the loss of a tooth, and even more so if a long time has passed or if there was a lot of infection, the volume of bone and gum can be damaged, making it necessary to apply accessory techniques to recover the lost tissues.

In this article we will discuss one of these techniques: breast uplift.

The maxillary sinus is an aerial, i.e. hollow, structure. It is located at the level of the upper molars and premolars and serves to heat and disinfect the air we breathe.

Sometimes, as we mentioned before, a lot of bone has been lost and the distance to the cavity is less than 6 millimetres, which would prevent an implant from being placed using the standard technique.

In these cases we can gain bone in an easy and predictable way, filling part of the breast with different materials so that new bone can form.

Depending on the amount of bone available we can use different approaches:

1- Caldwell-Luk technique: this is a lateral access to the sinus. Its advantages are a better view and more predictable handling, although it requires a larger working field. With this technique, the implant can be placed at the same time, although it is not always the most convenient. We will use this technique in the most complicated cases, where there is less bone.

2- Atraumatic technique: this is a more limited technique in terms of access and we use it when we have more bone available, placing the implant at the same time. In this technique, we access the sinus through the same hole where we are going to place the implant.

Breast lift without implant or with immediate implant?

As for healing times, it depends on the amount of residual bone and the stability of the implant at the time of placement, but I will try to summarise it:

1- Sinus lift without immediate implant: needs 6 months of healing before implant placement, plus the necessary time for osseointegration of the implant, which is approximately 10 months.

2- Breast lift and immediate implant: between 4 and 6 months, depending on how stable the implant is when placed.

If this is your case, and you think you are not going to be able to get implants due to lack of bone, don't "throw in the towel". Put yourself in good hands, with a 3D radiographic study and correct planning you can recover those missing teeth that will improve your quality of life.