Sinus membrane lift using a water balloon followed by bone grafting and implant placement: a 28-case report

Int J Prosthodont. 2009 May-Jun;22(3):243-7.


Purpose: The objective of this study was to assess the efficacy and safety of a minimally invasive sinus lift using an inflatable water balloon followed by bone grafting and implant placement.

Materials and methods: A total of 28 patients with a single tooth missing in the posterior maxilla underwent a water balloon sinus lift, followed by bone grafting and implant placement. Baseline bone height was 4.92 +/- 1.24 mm. Implant site preparation employed a pilot drill and osteotomy followed by water balloon elevation. The mean inflated balloon volume was 0.67 +/- 0.17 mL. Bio-Oss was filled under the elevated sinus membrane using a dedicated instrument. Twenty-eight total implants (diameter: 3.8 to 5.0 mm) were placed. Pre- and postoperative panoramic films or computed tomographs (optional) were taken for every case to measure and compare the results of the sinus membrane lift using a water balloon. Postoperative patient reactions including swelling, discoloration, discomfort, hematomas, and disability were recorded.

Results: Successful sinus membrane water balloon lifting procedures were performed in 26 cases; two procedures were aborted due to sinus membrane perforation. A total of 26 implants were placed. The mean inflated balloon volume was 0.67 +/- 0.17 mL and radiographic examination showed the mean elevated height by balloon to be 10.9 +/- 2.06 mm. Computed tomography showed the bone graft distributing evenly around implants. Patients were extremely pleased with the results and needed very little medical attention after surgery. The mean follow-up was 15.9 +/- 2.94 months. One implant was lost due to infection.

Conclusion: The use of a water balloon to elevate the sinus membrane is a truly minimally invasive technique and is associated with very little discomfort. This method has encouraging results, is easy to learn, and is associated with low complication rates.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alveolar Ridge Augmentation / methods*
  • Bone Matrix / transplantation
  • Bone Substitutes / therapeutic use*
  • Catheterization / instrumentation*
  • Dental Implantation, Endosseous / methods
  • Dental Implants, Single-Tooth*
  • Dental Restoration Failure
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maxilla / diagnostic imaging
  • Maxilla / surgery*
  • Maxillary Sinus / diagnostic imaging
  • Maxillary Sinus / injuries
  • Maxillary Sinus / pathology*
  • Minerals / therapeutic use
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures
  • Mucous Membrane / diagnostic imaging
  • Mucous Membrane / injuries
  • Mucous Membrane / pathology
  • Osteotomy / instrumentation
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Radiography, Panoramic
  • Safety
  • Surgical Wound Infection / etiology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Bio-Oss
  • Bone Substitutes
  • Minerals