A 57-year-old woman in Italy who went to the doctor with inflamed sinuses and facial pain had an unusual diagnosis: a dental implant in the sinus.
The woman had undergone oral surgery about two years before to place an implant — a 2-centimeter long (0.79 inch) metal screw designed to hold in place a replacement for a missing tooth — in her upper jaw. But surprisingly, an inspection of her mouth revealed the implant was not there. Instead, the gums covering the area of her missing tooth were healed, and her remaining teeth were healthy.
A CT scan showed the implant to be in her sinus cavity, next to her left eye. The researchers performed surgery to remove the dental implant, after which the woman's sinus symptoms went away. Eight months later, she remains healthy, according to the report of the case published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The researchers said the implant may have been wound up her sinus because of improper positioning, or as a consequence of tissue around the implant eroding, as well as bone loss.
So, was she feeling a little screwy?