Maxillary sinus elevation surgery was developed to increase the height of bone available for implant placement in the posterior maxilla. The efficacy and predictability of this procedure have been determined in numerous studies. The basic approach to the sinus (Caldwell-Luc operation) involves an osteotomy performed on the lateral maxillary wall, elevation of the sinus membrane, and placement of bone graft material. The graft materials can be categorized into four groups: autogenous bone, allografts (harvested from human cadavers), alloplasts (synthetic materials), and xenografts (grafts from a nonhuman species). These graft materials can be used alone or in combination with each other. Implant placement can occur at the same surgical procedure (immediate placement) or following a healing period of 6 to 9 months (delayed placement). A more conservative approach to the sinus, the osteotome technique, has been described as well. CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: This article provides an overview of the surgical technique, with emphasis on anatomic considerations, preoperative patient evaluation (clinical and radiographic), indications and contraindications to the procedure, and possible risks and complications.
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