The removal of an impacted maxillary third molar is an easy procedure for an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. The most commonly seen complications associated with this type of surgery are excessive hemorrhage, infection, pain, swelling, trismus, and root fractures. Although rarely encountered, unexpected complications may also arise during this procedure, such as the displacement of the tooth into an anatomic space. In this article, a case of a maxillary left third molar accidentally displaced into the infratemporal fossa is presented, and the delayed removal of the tooth after 3 weeks from the initial unsuccessful attempt is described, along with the correlating reasons. The role of the radiologic analysis in determining the localization of the tooth, including the routine panoramic radiographs and more importantly the volumetric computed tomographic scans, is stated. The different surgical treatment options are classified, and the potential for morbidity in the surgical removal of the tooth from the infratemporal fossa is presented by ranging the vital anatomic structures running through it.
From the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Dentistry, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.
Received August 14, 2010.
Accepted for publication December 3, 2010.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Firat Selvi, DDS, PhD, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Dentistry, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The authors report no conflicts of interest.