I had all my top teeth pulled 2 weeks ago. The extraction of one molar caused a sinus perforation (this was not told to me until the following day, nor did they go over this could happen prior). On day 4 I told them I had popping and cracking in the left side in my nose. I was told to take Sudafed. That same night I started with a high fever (101-102) so I contacted them again the next day. They called me in antibiotics which I began immediately, and continued taking the Sudafed. Over the next 3 days my fever stayed. I also got a really bad pain in my left side to behind my eye. I went back on the 7th day and had a large piece of bone removed and smaller pieces. The infection could be seen in the back 2 sockets as green slime and I felt horrible. I was given a stronger antibiotic. I went back on day 11 because I still had infection. When I gargle with salt water, it makes a foamy green slime come out my left nostril. It’s very disgusting. They finally called an oral surgeon and I was told I need to see an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor. I feel like the meds aren’t working and am worried this is a bigger deal than they’re making it.
– Lyndi C.
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I believe, from what you’ve told me, that your dentist made some mistakes here and has been slow to catch on to the seriousness of what has been happening, but referring you to the oral surgeon who is sending you to the ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist was the right thing to do, and it sounds like things are getting on the right track.
Yes, they should have given you a list of possible complications of the extractions before you ever had anything done, and that list should have included the possibility of a sinus perforation. And then when it happened, they should have told you that on the day of the surgery and done something to begin treating it. I also don’t know what they expected Sudafed to do. I have a blog post about the proper treatment of a sinus perforation. Sudafed should be used if there is congestion–it’s not a routine treatment so I’m not sure why it was used in your case. Starting out with the wrong antibiotic is typical of what many dentists do, unfortunately, and if you’re still not on the right antibiotic, the ENT doctor should be able to fix that.
With the level of infection that has followed, I suspect that some bone or a tooth fragment was pushed up into the sinus. Maybe they got that out at your day 7 appointment. If they didn’t, the ENT physician should be able to also fix that.
I really believe that the original dentist could get in legal trouble from this. I don’t think it’s necessary for you to make any trouble for them, but if I were you, I would definitely insist that he or she cover all your expenses with the oral surgeon and the ENT doctor as a condition for your not making any trouble for them over this.
– Dr. Hall
Read the follow-up to this sinus perforation incident
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About David A. Hall
Dr. David A. Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does advanced internet marketing for dentists.