Complications in sinus lifting procedures: Classification and management

Periodontol 2000. 2022 Feb;88(1):103-115. doi: 10.1111/prd.12414.


Open and closed sinus lifting procedures are predictable methods to augment the bone needed for appropriate implant placement in the posterior maxilla in cases where available bone is limited. However, these techniques may give rise to complications and associated comorbidities. In the case of open sinus lifting, perforation of the Schneiderian membrane during osteotomy is the most common complication, with an incidence rate of around 20%-25%. Apart from those complications associated with oral surgery in general (such as swelling or hematoma), there are specific complications of open sinus lifting procedures that may arise less frequently (chronic rhinosinusitis, hemorrhage, or ostium blockage by overfilling) but which may nevertheless compromise the viability of the graft and/or the implants and cause substantial discomfort to the patient. Closed sinus lifting is a less invasive approach that allows transcrestal placement of the implants in cases where there is sufficient residual bone height. However, it may also be associated with specific complications, including membrane perforation, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, and implant displacement to the sinus cavity. New technologies have been proposed to reduce these complications and comorbidities associated with conventional sinus lifting procedures, such as the use of piezoelectric devices and hydraulic sinus lift or reamer burs. The evidence supporting their effectiveness and safety, however, is still lacking. A detailed medical history together with a thorough radiographic and clinical examination are essential prior to any kind of bone regenerative augmentation involving the maxillary sinus. Moreover, it is recommended to employ the most appropriate surgical technique for the specific characteristics of the case and, at the same time, accommodating the experience and skills of the surgeon.

Keywords: complications; hemorrhage; membrane perforation; rhinosinusitis; sinus lifting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Regeneration
  • Dental Implantation, Endosseous / methods
  • Dental Implants* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Maxilla / surgery
  • Maxillary Sinus / surgery
  • Sinus Floor Augmentation* / adverse effects
  • Sinus Floor Augmentation* / methods


  • Dental Implants