It was almost six years before I could afford Invisalign, and now I’m still waiting due to a sinus perforation in July. I had an upper right molar extracted, and my dentist punctured my sinus. Almost four weeks later, a piece of bone came out of the hole. Everything seemed to be okay until last week when I was blowing out several candles. I felt the air go through my gums. The puncture isn’t healed. How long is this supposed to take? I called my dentist’s office, and she told me to give it a little more time. How long should I wait before getting Invisalign? – Joan from Las Cruces, NM
Six months is enough time for the perforation to heal. But the fact that you felt air passing through your gums means that it will be difficult for the area to heal.
Why You Need Healthy Gums Before Invisalign
Several reasons to wait before you begin Invisalign treatment include:
- The opening in your gums needs attention before you start Invisalign treatment.
- You’ll wear Invisalign about 22 hours a day to get results, so it’s best to clear up any issues with your oral health.
- Invisalign puts pressure on your teeth and gums and can cause further irritation to unhealthy areas
Although a sinus perforation isn’t an indication that your dentist did anything wrong, she should take responsibility for the care you need and refer you to an oral surgeon if she doesn’t know how to handle your case.
What Causes Sinus Perforation During Extraction?
Sometimes upper molar teeth have roots that are close to the sinuses and are only separated by a thin membrane or a thin layer of bone. It can be difficult—if not impossible—to touch the sinuses. But your dentist should be observant and provide treatment to close the perforation and schedule follow-up appointments to ensure proper healing.
A bone fragment in the sinus can increase the risk of more damage and make it complicated to remove from a dentist who isn’t highly skilled.
Contact your dentist again, ask her to refer you to an oral surgeon, and request that she covers the cost of your follow-up care. Most dentists will cooperate with the request. If your dentist doesn’t cooperate, mention that you’ll leave negative reviews online and report the issue to the state dental board.
Meanwhile, you can get a second opinion and referral from another dentist.
Rekha Reddy, DDS of Dallas, TX, sponsors this post.