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Dental Implant Delayed Due to a Sinus Infection

Posted by AllSmiles

Can you tell me why my dentist can’t clear my sinus infection after tooth extraction? This issue prevents me from getting a dental implant. After removing my upper left tooth, my dentist prescribed clindamycin antibiotics for a week, but the infection isn’t gone. I finished the antibiotics, but I still feel pressure in my face and nose. I have tried nose spray and decongestant. Before I call the office back, can you give me an idea of what my dentist should recommend?

Also, if his recommendation does not match yours, should I ask for another round of clindamycin? Is this a routine problem that my dentist should have known about? I am afraid it will not heal, and I cannot get an implant. Thank you. Jeremiah from Columbia, SC


Dr. Goebel would need to examine your tooth and review your x-ray for an accurate diagnosis. But from your description, your dentist is not negligent.

Upper molar tooth roots are often located close to the sinus. So, when your dentist removes a tooth, the sinus can rupture. Sometimes only a thin membrane separates tooth roots and the sinus.

A dentist may treat the issue with these steps:

  • Close the perforation
  • Use a surgical gelatin sponge or bone grafting if you need a dental implant
  • Stich the opening closed
  • Prescribed antibiotics if you have an infection

After finishing antibiotics, contact your dentist if the infection does not clear. Although you may need another course of antibiotics, your dentist may need to switch you from clindamycin. Sometimes bacteria become antibiotic resistant.

Dental implant complete with a crown and an unattached crown to the left of it
Dental implants thrive in healthy gums and bone

Afterward, if the infection persists, your dentist may need to refer you to an otolaryngologist (or ear, nose, and throat specialist). The specialist will coordinate your care with your dentist to ensure the infection is gone before dental implant surgery.

You can expect about four months of bone graft healing before you get a dental implant. And after implant surgery, it takes three to four months for your jawbone and implant to fuse. Then, your dentist can complete the implant with a dental crown.

Cosmetic dentist Thomas J. Goebel, DDS of Moline, Illinois, sponsors this post.