I had a molar extracted in May. There was a sinus perforation and after about 3 weeks a piece of bone came out and I thought it healed over. I just recently blew hard on something and the point of extraction pushed my partial away from my gums. Will this heal over or do I need to do something more? My dentist retired last month and I’m not sure what to do now.
– Jana S.
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From May to October – that’s five months. This perforation should have healed by now, but if there is continually air passing through it, it can be tough for it to heal. The dentist who did the extraction should have followed up on this and if he or she didn’t know how to treat it, should have referred you to an oral surgeon to repair it. If he or she were still in practice, I would have gone back to them and asked that they refer you to an oral surgeon. The reason I would go back to the dentist rather than straight to the oral surgeon would be to invite your dentist to take responsibility for the post-operative care you are requiring. As I have said in other posts on this subject, a sinus perforation can happen to any dentist and isn’t an indication by itself that anything was done wrong. Some of these maxillary molars have roots that are right up against the sinus with only a thin layer of bone or even a thin membrane separating them from the sinus. But the dentist should realize that a perforation has occurred and should provide proper treatment to close the perforation and stay with the case until it is properly healed.
It also sounds like there may have been a bone fragment pushed into the sinus, which could be risky. Fortunately it came out on its own.
I’m guessing, since you know that your sinus was perforated, that your dentist realized that and told you. But then clearly the opening wasn’t closed by the dentist and no follow-up care was provided. If there is a new dentist taking over and you are staying with this dental practice, I would let the new dentist know what has happened and then ask for a referral to an oral surgeon, with a polite request that the expense of this follow-up care be covered by the practice. If the practice was sold to the new dentist, the sales contract should include provisions of how these post-operative complications are handled in the practice transition.
– Dr. Hall
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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.