My Dentist Perforated My Sinuses During an Extraction. Can I Sue for Damages?

Tooth extractions are one of the most frequent procedures performed by dental professionals, whether general dentists, periodontists or oral surgeons. Usually simple procedures, most tooth extractions go smoothly and patients recover rapidly. However, when teeth adjacent to the sinuses are extracted, unintended consequences, such as sinus perforation, may occur. Although known as a relatively common complication of extraction, unless such perforations are dealt with swiftly and correctly, things can go terribly wrong. If dental negligence is to blame, the patient has every right to sue for damages.

If you have suffered serious, ongoing sinus problems after a tooth extraction, and you believe your dentist’s negligence is to blame, you should consult with Lance Ehrenberg, Esq. of Dental & Podiatry Malpractice Lawyers of New York. He has in-depth knowledge and legal skill to evaluate whether your case is viable in a court of law. Once you become his client, he will fight hard to prove your malpractice claims so that you can receive the compensation you deserve and will charge you no attorneys’ fees until he wins your case.

How Sinus Perforation Occurs During Tooth Extraction

Sinus perforation may occur during the removal of teeth from the upper jaw because the roots of the upper molars are in very close proximity to the sinus cavity. In fact, some back molars or wisdom teeth may extend into the sinuses. Since some patients’ teeth are closer to the sinus membrane than others, they are at greater risk. Responsible dentists should know whether individual patients are at increased risk, having taken and examined required dental X-rays prior to performing the extraction.

Complications Your Dentist Should Take Care to Prevent and/or Treat

Your dentist should certainly be aware if a sinus perforation has occurred and either stitch the opening closed or leave it open to drain and heal, providing you with explicit directions about follow-up care. If you have a history of sinus problems, making your case more difficult from the outset, he or she should know this from your medical history and take appropriate precautions.

Well-trained, careful dentists become aware of a sinus perforation as soon as it happens, and immediately take steps to remediate it because a hole in the sinus can lead to:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Difficulty eating
  • Inability to use a straw because of the change in oral pressure
  • Fluid drainage from the nose to the mouth

As all medical and dental professionals are aware, chronic sinus infections can lead to other serious health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, and localized bacterial infections can (sometimes quickly) become systemic, causing:

  • Fever and chills
  • Body aches as well as localized pain
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Sepsis and even death 

This is why it is crucial to hold dentists accountable for failing to recognize sinus perforation and treat it rapidly and correctly.

When a Sinus Perforation During Extraction Becomes Dental Malpractice

As we all know, accidents happen, even during medical and dental procedures, and an unfavorable outcome alone does not constitute malpractice. Malpractice exists when your dentist, through a negligent act or omission, causes you injury, for example by:

  • Failing to take a thorough medical history
  • Failing to get your informed consent for the procedure (not when you’re under sedation)
  • Failing to take X-rays before performing your extraction
  • Neglecting to use adequate care and sterile instruments during the procedure
  • Leaving bone fragments in the cavity
  • Failing to inform you of the perforation as soon as possible
  • Not beginning treatment immediately
  • Not giving you the correct antibiotic or switching antibiotics when one doesn’t work
  • Not advising you about home care, what to avoid, or whether to see a specialist

Dentists, like all medical professionals, are legally held to a standard of reasonable care. If your dentist, oral surgeon or periodontist, has failed to provide it, you are entitled to sue for damages.

Our Experienced Dental Malpractice Attorney Will Fight to Win You Just Compensation

By investigating your dental extraction case thoroughly and consulting with medical and dental experts, we will create a well-crafted strategy to seek damages for your pain and suffering, medical and dental costs, lost income, and all other expenses related to your dentist’s misconduct.

About the Author
Of all the different areas in medical malpractice, it is podiatry malpractice that has had a particular interest to me. With 42 years practicing law and representing hundreds of victims of malpractice, I have created a law practice in which my clients are comfortable knowing that their case is being handled with my personal attention, in the most professional manner, and without unreasonable delays.