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Oral Surgery/chronic osteomyelitis of the maxillary w/oral antral fistula


QUESTION: I have an untreated oral-antral fistula for four years now, using tampons as my mouth appliance. The size of the opening is well over 6mm. I am always tired with no desire to do anything. I do not have dental insurance so I cannot find a doctor to even see me please help. I live in San Diego and I know there is someone that can help me.
I also would like to know if I can fly with this condition.

ANSWER: Anita -  First of all, medical insurance will pay for the closure of the oral antral fistula.  If you do have medical insurance, make an appointment with a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon.  If you are unaware of one, get back to me and I will send you names of board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons in San Diego.

It is not a good idea to fly with any sinus inflammation or infection.  Since this situation has existed so long, most likely there is, at least, a low grade infection or significant inflammation.  

So again, medical insurance will pay for the closure of this fistula.  If you have additional questions, feel free to contact me again.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dr.Teig; Thank you for your response. I am asking for more assistance for I am scared what's next. Now my jaws are dislodge where I am not able to talk without extreme pain. I have gone. Would you now what would be the best hospital for this disease.

Anita -  I am not sure that there is a specific one in California that I would recommend.  There are a number of hospitals in California with oral and maxillofacial residency programs with expert doctors doing the teaching.  Of those, the three I would recommend are Loma Linda University, University of California San Francisco and Harbor UCLA Medical Center.  When you call for an evaluation, ask to speak with the department of oral and maxillofacial surgery and make sure that your initial evaluation is not with a resident, but with attending doctors there who teach.

If you have additional questions, feel free to contact me again.

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicing for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor at State University School of Dentistry.

American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

BA- University of Connecticut DMD-University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Residency - Roosevelt Hospital, NYC

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