Risk of implant surgery to replace upper molar?

I lost an upper molar several years ago. I am considering getting an implant to replace it. A local dentist said it would require a complicated sinus lift procedure and that it was more risky and costly than an implant to replace a lower molar? Is this information correct? Are upper molars often replaced with implants, or is there a safer solution. Thanks.

Doctor Answers 7

Implant surgery

Upper molars are very often replaced with implants . It is considered the ideal treatment in most cases. Sometimes a sinus lift is necessary. It is a very common procedure with very predictable results. The risk is different from a lower molar implant. There is really no other way to restore  a second molar on the upper unless you decide to go without a tooth.

Implant on upper molar

There are several techniques ,to restore this, it depends on the amount of bone remaining, and not necessarily you will need a lateral sinus lift, there are other ways, and you will be able to place that implant on that area, the only thing i suggest you should do , is not to leave it too long, because the bone can change the width, and the height, and you do not want this to happen.
and even if you have sinus lift, its a very technical procedure, and it takes 1 hour.


now a days implant and sinus surgery is very common. in yr case , i feel u do not have proper bone, so u have to pay for implant placement  and sinus surgery, so it will cost more. yes, i agree , in many cases upper molar region is costly. if u want to save money , u can avail 'dental tourism'. its very common for implants. almost 80% saving on treatment cost.

Nirav Patel, MDS, PhD
India Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Risk of implant surgery to replace upper molar?

Replacing lost upper molars with Implants is a very common treatment option. Of course all implants need to be placed in adequate bone for stabilization and support of a crown. If bone is not adequate in the area then grafting or expansion of the bone is often needed before placing an Implant. 

In the upper molar region bone can be lost over the years due to bone resorption, remodelling, and sinus expansion into the area of the missing tooth.Bone may also have been lost during at the time the molar was removed.  All of these bone dimensions have to be taken into account and can only truly be determined with a 3D CBVT image. 

Depending on the amount of bone left in the area a Sinus lift or Lateral Sinus graft (two different treatments) would be possible treatment options. Both procedures are very successful and can be performed by a dentist with adequate training. They are not high risk. Sinus lifts are quite simple and lateral Sinus grafting has one of the highest success rates of any dental bone grafting procedures.  

I disagree with the above Doc that suggests only an Oral Surgeon or Periodontist should do these procedures as there are many highly skilled, General dentists, that have been trained extensively to perform these procedures.  I would suggest checking out the AAID (American Academy of Implant Dentistry) and finding a dentist in your area recommended by the organization. 

Paul Newitt, BSc, DMD
Vancouver Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Upper implant

In the hands of a skilled surgeon, a sinus lift and implant can have very good success, and It is not uncommon to need a sinus lift if there is not enough bone.  This would be my treatment of choice

Upper molar implant replacement

Not all upper molar implant replacements require sinus lifts. Sometimes you can get away with a shorter but wider implant. Also, anyone who tells you that sinus lifts are complicated probably does not do so many of them. This is a rather straightforward procedure but needs to be done by a specialist like a periodontist or oral surgeon. Please consult with one of those two specialists in your area first prior to making a decision. 

Herbert Veisman, DDS
Toronto Periodontist
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews


upper molars are routinely replaced with implants, quite uneventfully.  However, if you lost that molar a few years ago and the sinus is in close proximity, then a sinus lift is often needed to restore adequate bone.  Sinus lifts have become quite routine and very predictable in the right hands and are reliable, but it is an additional procedure.

Frank Celenza, DDS, PC
New York Orthodontist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.