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Oroantral fistulas are a pathological communication between the oral cavity and the maxillary sinus (antrum).
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The term oroantral fistula is similar to but not synonymous with the term oroantral communication (OAC). An oro-antral fistula refers to an "epithelialized" pathological unnatural communication between the oral cavity and the maxillary sinus. It develops when the oro-antral communication fails to close spontaneously, remains patent and becomes epithelialized 6.
There is a slightly greater male predilection 2.
Oroantral fistulas may be subtyped by location into:
They can result from a number of reasons:
- following posterior maxillary tooth extraction (most commonly molar)
- following radiation therapy
Typically seen as a disruption or defect involving the bony floor of the maxillary sinus with soft-tissue opacification or fluid involving the ipsilateral sinus.
Treatment and prognosis
Oroantral fistulas <2 mm wide usually heal without intervention, larger fistulas may require surgery 7.
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- 7. Rafael M. Loureiro, Erica A. Naves, Rafael F. Zanello, Daniel V. Sumi, Regina L. E. Gomes, Mauro M. Daniel. Dental Emergencies: A Practical Guide. (2019) RadioGraphics. 39 (6): 1782-1795. doi:10.1148/rg.2019190019 - Pubmed