Clinical impact of ectopic teeth in the maxillary sinus

Auris Nasus Larynx. 2006 Sep;33(3):277-81. doi: 10.1016/j.anl.2006.01.004. Epub 2006 May 3.


Objective: To evaluate the clinical features, aetiologic factors, challenging properties (such as radio opacity in Water's view in a patient with no sinusitis), signs and symptoms of the ectopic teeth in the maxillary sinus.

Study design: Clinical symptoms and radiographic findings of 14 patients with ectopic teeth in the maxillary sinus were evaluated. Computed tomography (CT) and conventional radiographic images of maxillary sinus and clinical findings were compared with each other with regard to the final diagnosis.

Results: Water's view is inadequate to diagnose ectopic tooth in the maxillary sinus in some cases. Panoramic radiographs may be preferred before CT to evaluate the ectopic tooth in the maxillary sinus as structure of a tooth can be clearly detected on panoramic radiographs. Crowding was the most common aetiologic factor among the 14 cases.

Conclusion and significance: The patients with ectopic tooth in the maxillary sinus should be evaluated thoroughly by complete otorhinolaryngologic, intraoral examinations and proper diagnostic imaging procedures in order to avoid misdiagnosis of maxillary sinusitis. As the opacity of the maxillary sinus in Water's view due to ectopic tooth can be misinterpreted as maxillary sinusitis, patients who have sinusitis-like complaints and opacity of maxillary sinus in Water's view who are resistant to medical treatment should be evaluated with respect to the presence of ectopic tooth.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maxillary Sinus* / diagnostic imaging
  • Maxillary Sinusitis / diagnosis
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography, Panoramic
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Tooth Eruption, Ectopic / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tooth Eruption, Ectopic / physiopathology
  • Tooth Eruption, Ectopic / surgery