One of the (many) good things about dental implants is their predictability. Postoperative complications are rare, but it's important to be aware of any signs that your implant might need to be assessed. One such potential issue is when an implant irritates your sinus cavity.
Your Upper Jaw
Such an issue can only occur when the implant is installed near your nasal cavity, so only implants placed in your upper jaw have the ability to cause this irritation. Although the utmost care was taken during the implantation, an implant can protrude through your upper jaw and into your sinus cavity.
Bone Density and Bite Pressure
The problem can be caused by insufficient bone density in your upper alveolar ridge (the bony ridge that holds your dental sockets). It can also be caused by unforeseen excessive bite pressure while the implant is integrating with your jaw, which is why it's so important to follow the dietary and general aftercare instructions provided at the time of your surgery. What does the issue actually feel like?
When a dental implant is protruding into your sinus cavity, it can feel much like a sinus infection. Your nose can feel blocked and can produce a discharge of mucus. There might be localised tenderness, and you may begin to experience sinus headaches. However, these symptoms aren't necessarily related to your dental implant.
An Unrelated Issue
If you commonly experience sinus issues (even with something as simple as seasonal allergies), the timing of your symptoms could just be coincidental. However, if these symptoms don't subside, or if you're not prone to sinus issues, you must have the implant inspected.
Assessing Your Implant
An X-ray will confirm whether the implant is protruding into your sinus cavity. Once the issue has been identified, the implant will need to be removed. You may also require antibiotics and nasal decongestants. It might be an annoyance, but it's better than leaving the implant where it is.
Correcting the Issue
You will be able to have the implant reinstalled, but you will likely require an additional procedure before this can happen, to avoid a repeat of the issue. You will receive a sinus lift, which is when your Schneiderian membrane is lifted so that your upper alveolar ridge can receive a bone graft to increase its density. Once this has healed, the implant can be replaced, with ample protection for your sinus cavity.
This complication is unfortunate but isn't common. And in any event, the process for correcting an irritation to your sinus cavity caused by an upper jaw dental implant is relatively simple. Contact dentists who work with dental implants to learn more.