Management of a maxillary sinus foreign body (dental bur) | Ear, Nose & Throat Journal Skip to content Skip to navigation

Management of a maxillary sinus foreign body (dental bur)

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November 1, 2007
by Joseph L. Smith II, MD and Precha Emko, MD, FACS


Metal foreign bodies are occasionally found in the paranasal sinuses. Often they result from the escape of material through an oroantral fistula or from trauma. Rarely, they occur as a complication of a dental procedure. A literature review revealed only four other reports of iatrogenic dental bur lodgment in the maxillary sinus, all of which are in the dental literature. Otolaryngologists, who might be required to deal with this complication, must be knowledgeable about its management. In this article we describe a patient who was referred to our otolaryngology department for management of a retained dental bur in the maxillary sinus. We also review two treatment options—an endoscopic and an open surgical approach—for the removal of sinus foreign bodies.

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