The Intralift™ system is a recently developed surgical method to replace and augment missing bone substance in the upper jaw.
The posterior alveolar bridge in the upper jaw resorbs due to long periods of tooth loss, thus there is not enough bone height to place the implants. This calls for bone augmentation (called Sinus Lift). It involves lifting the sinus membrane, introducing a bone graft material in the space and placing an implant either immediately or after a healing period (4-6 months) in the regenerated bone.
The traditional method (open sinus lift by the Tatum method) consisted of making an incision, a window, in the lateral wall of the maxillary antrum and of lifting the sinus membrane with hand instruments from the floor and walls of the maxillary antrum. The surgical trauma for the patient is relatively high in this method, generally accompanied by a lot of swelling and not uncommonly also coupled with pain and blackening of the cheek (haematoma).
In 2007 Dr. Wainwright along with 2 other colleagues (TKW-research group OA Dr. Dr. Trödhan, Dr. Andreas Kurrek) developed an ultrasound-based operation procedure called the Intralift™. This procedure does not make use of rotary instruments that carry a great risk of damaging soft tissue, instead uses high frequency vibrating instruments that minimise the risk of injuring sensitive anatomical structures.
Intralift™ method also dispenses with making a window on the lateral maxilla antrum thus reducing post-operative discomfort to almost zero, swelling and pain are absolutely rare for this procedure. By leaving the bone structure and »keyhole surgery« (comparable to a modern knee operation) without large cuts the bone regenerates faster and in many cases the implants can be placed immediately. Any amount of bone reconstruction is possible with this method. Dr. Wainwright has totally done away with the use of autologous bone material in this procedure.
Schematic Diagram of the Intralift™–Methods
Precision instruments of a very small size (about 3 mm) and the fact that the ultrasonic frequency actually promotes bone regeneration (study by Dr Nares of the University of North Carolina) makes Intralift ™ a safe and virtually comfortable method for the patient with a low risk of failure. The Intralift ™-method is patented, used all over the world and has the potential of replacing the conventional »open« sinus lift procedure.
There are numerous technical papers and publications as well as scientific studies in renowned technical journals like the JOMS (Journal of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery). Dr. Wainwright is foremost in the field of ultrasonic surgery and as a recognised specialist holds international lectures (among others in USA, China, Australia, Ukraine, England Spain etc.) and has trained hundreds of colleagues in the Intralift™ technique.