Purpose: To investigate the prevalence of anatomical and surgical findings and complications in maxillary sinus floor elevation surgery, and to describe the clinical implications. Patients and Methods: One hundred consecutive patients scheduled for maxillary sinus floor elevation were included. The patients consisted of 36 men (36%) and 64 women (64%), with a mean age of 50 years (range, 17 to 73 years). In 18 patients, a bilateral procedure was performed. Patients were treated with a top hinge door in the lateral maxillary sinus wall, as described by Tatum (Dent Clin North Am 30:207, 1986). In bilateral cases, only the first site treated was evaluated. Results: In most cases, an anatomical or surgical finding forced a deviation from Tatum's standard procedure. A thin or thick lateral maxillary sinus wall was found in 78% and 4% of patients, respectively. In 6%, a strong convexity of the lateral sinus wall called for an alternative method of releasing the trapdoor. The same method was used in 4% of cases involving a narrow sinus. The sinus floor elevation procedure was hindered by septa in 48%. In regard to complications, the most common complication, a perforation of the Schneiderian membrane, occurred in 11% of patients. In 2%, visualization of the trapdoor preparation was compromised because of hemorrhages. The initial incision design, ie, slightly palatal, was responsible for a local dehiscence in 3%. Conclusion: To avoid unnecessary surgical complications, detailed knowledge and timely identification of the anatomic structures inherent to the maxillary sinus are required. © 2008 American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
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