The Mysterious Case of the Dental Implant in the Sinus
In sinus medicine circles, this story has been getting a fair amount of attention this week. It seems a woman in Italy came to her doctor complaining of sinus pain. An X-ray revealed the startling culprit: a dental implant in her upper gum had come loose, and somehow found its way into the sinus cavity.
Now, I don’t publish this story to stoke unnecessary fears about dental surgeries gone wrong. On the contrary, I simply repeat it here to point out two things: one, that the rarity of this case is underscored by the outsized attention it has received, and two, that the image making the rounds is a perfect illustration of the interconnectedness of human physiology.
Most people imagine there are impenetrable borders between soft tissue, hard tissue and the various spaces, organs and muscles that comprise the face. Yet this case shows indisputably that there is more room to move than many might imagine. This is precisely the reason why symptoms that originate in the sinuses may prove dangerous over time without treatment: an infection in the nasal sinuses can spread quickly to other parts of the head, including the brain.