I’ve waited for an upper left sinus perforation after tooth extraction to heal since late May, but I still have symptoms. My next step was to get teeth whitening and four dental implants. I’m concerned that it will be 2025 before my dental work is complete. I don’t think my dentist can control the infection because he keeps prescribing antibiotics, but the infection flares again as soon as I finish the medicine. Should I request a referral to an oral surgeon, or is it too late? – Caleb from NM
When a sinus perforation does not heal, it may be delayed by a root tip or bone fragment in your sinus. If your dentist took an X-ray of your sinus, he should be able to see if any foreign objects are lodged, preventing the area from healing.
What Can You Do If a Sinus Perforation Doesn’t Heal?
If a sinus perforation does not heal after tooth extraction, you can ask your dentist to refer you to an otolaryngologist (ENT) doctor. The specialist will examine your X-ray to determine whether a bone fragment or root tip remains in the sinus, interfering with healing.
If you have a foreign object lodged in your sinus, the ENT will take these steps:
- Remove the fragment, root tip, or other object
- Suture the perforation
- Prescribe antibiotics to clear the infection
After treatment from the ENT and confirmation that the area has healed, you can resume your dentist’s treatment plan for teeth whitening and dental implants. We recommend getting a second opinion from an advanced implant dentist to determine whether you need bone grafting or sinus augmentation before dental implant surgery.
Although you are understandably anxious to complete your smile makeover, please patiently wait for healing. Dental implants require healthy jawbone and surrounding tissues to ensure the implants and bone integrate. Otherwise, you may experience dental implant failure, which can further delay treatment, sometimes requiring alternative forms of tooth replacement.
Metairie, Louisiana, dentist Dr. Duane Delaune sponsors this post.