Use of a palatal pedicle flap for closure of an oroantral fistula
Sinus lifting has become a routine procedure in modern implant dentistry. Despite its predictability, this type of surgery may eventually lead to serious complications and sequelae. Most of the time, such complications are due to technical failures, such as perforation of the sinus membrane during surgery, which may eventually lead to graft loss due to infection within the sinus, which finds its drainage path into the mouth and leads to an oroantral communication (OAC). Epithelization of such a draining duct characterizes an oroantral fistula (OAF). This report presents the use of a palatal pedicle flap to successfully close an OAF in a patient who had previously undergone a sinus lifting procedure. Several surgical techniques may be used in the closure of an OAF, and the choice of a particular technique is subject to the characteristics and location of the communication as well as to the preference of the surgeon. The palatal pedicle flap was successfully chosen in the present case report. The palatal pedicle flap was considered an adequate option for closure of an OAF in a single-stage surgical procedure, with no loss of either keratinized mucosa or buccal sulcus depth in the area of the fistula.