Post-Operative Instructions:
Sinus Lift

Post-Op Instructions: Sinus Lift

You have had a sinus lift augmentation procedure in your upper jaw. This procedure replaces deficient bone height in the area of your first and second molars and occasionally second premolar. Without this important procedure, there would be insufficient bone height to support implants due to an enlarged sinus. The bone that has been grafted is most commonly a combination of freeze-dried cadaver bone and bovine bone.

DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BLOW YOUR NOSE FOR THE NEXT TWO (2) WEEKS. This may be longer if indicated. You may sniff all you like, but no blowing. Do not blow your nose or sneeze holding your nose closed. Scuba diving and flying in pressurized aircrafts may also increase sinus pressure, and you should ask your doctor prior to these activities. Decongestants such as Drixoral®, Dimetapp®, or 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 on the day of your surgery. This tends to disturb the blood clot, open the wound, and can prolong bleeding. You should not have a significant amount of blood in the mouth. Saliva can be swallowed even if slightly blood-tinged. It is important to keep your mouth clean after surgery to reduce the risk of infection and promote rapid healing. Start salt water rinses the day following your procedure. Use ½ teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8-ounce glass of water and gently rinse with portions of the solution, taking 5 minutes to use the entire glassful. Repeat as often as you like, but rinse at least 4 to 5 times daily and always rinse after eating for the next 5 days. Begin careful tooth brushing on the first post-operative day and continue at least twice a day. Please brush very gently, particularly near the surgical area. Also, be gentle when expectorating. Our doctor may prescribe an antibiotic rinse (chlorhexidine, Periogard®, Peridex®) for certain procedures. This rinse should be used in the morning and at bedtime after routine mouth care. Rinse in the mouth for 1 minute, then spit out. Use twice a day after brushing. Do not eat, drink, or rinse your mouth immediately after using the medicated rinse.


Drink plenty of liquids. Eat soft foods for the first several days after surgery. Advance to a regular diet as swelling diminishes and you become more comfortable. Please avoid chewing or creating pressure on the bone graft site. Creating pressure on the graft site at any time during the 6-month healing process can interfere with bone graft healing and can compromise the outcome or result in bone graft failure.


DO NOT SMOKE for at least 2 weeks following surgery. As discussed at your consultation, smoking increases the risk of bone graft failure.

Wearing Your Prosthesis

We understand how important it is for our patients to be able to wear their temporary teeth as soon as possible. All removable appliances, including partial dentures, flippers, and full dentures must be checked for proper fit by your doctor before they are worn. These appliances can transmit pressure to the bone graft site, which can interfere with bone graft healing and result in bone graft failure. In some cases, it may be necessary to go without wearing the temporary teeth for a few days until the swelling resolves and some healing takes place. In most cases, partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should only be used for cosmetic purposes, not for chewing. They should be used only in public when required and removed in the privacy of your own home. This was discussed during the pre-operative consultation.

Operative Complications

As with any procedure, unexpected post-operative problems can occur. If you notice an unexpected flow of air or liquids between your mouth and nose, please let us know immediately. Also let us know 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 pain and swelling in your mouth, cheek, or under your eye after 3 days, please let us know.

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 our office.

PLEASE NOTE: Telephone calls for narcotic (pain killer) prescriptions renewal are ONLY accepted during office hours.