When a molar or premolar is extracted without atraumatic techniques, and the socket is not grafted, the maxillary sinus will “expand” and invade the area that was occupied by the tooth and surrounding bone. This process is called pneumatization.
When this happens and the patient decides to get dental implants, the available bone will be limited and the maxillary sinus will be in the way. This will limit the length of the implant, affecting anchorage. Very often, the sinus is so pneumatized that implants can not be placed at all.
The Sinus elevation process, or sinus lift, consists of the surgical elevation of the thin membrane that surrounds the maxillary sinus. This membrane, once elevated in conjunction with the walls of the sinus, create a compartment that is filled with bone graft material. This bone graft material should turn into bone approximately five months later and implants can then be placed.
There are several techniques to perform this procedure and Dr. Ordonez has been credited with the invention of surgical techniques, as well as surgical instruments, to facilitate this technique and make it less invasive and more predictable.