Archive | Wisdom Teeth

Air Embolism During Wisdom Teeth Removal Causes Death

Between October 6,1986 and September 17,1987, 11 patients underwent insertion of mandibular dental prostheses by the same oral surgeon. Three patients suffered cardiac arrest during surgery and subsequently died. Two of the patients who died had received general anaesthetics and the other had intravenous sedation given by three different anaesthetists. All three patients arrested suddenly, developing profound cyanosis and electrical mechanical dissociation, underwent prolonged resuscitative efforts, and had marked hypoxaemia and hypercapnia, despite cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Two other patients had signs of injection of air but survived, one suffering cardiac collapse and the other sustaining massive subcutaneous emphysema. Air embolism was produced by inadvertent injection of a mixture of air and water, passing through the hollow dental drill, directly into the mandible to the facial and pterygoidplexus veins and thence to the superior vena cava and right atrium.  To find out more visit

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Subcutaneous Emphysema In Dental Procedures

Subcutaneous emphysema, surgical emphysema, or tissue space emphysema are different names for a similar condition, namely, the abnormal presence of air in tissue spaces Subcutaneous emphysema occurs rarely during dental procedures. When it does occur, it can be a frightening experience that often will be confused with an anaphylactic reaction. Differentiating the two conditions is not difficult. Palpation of the swollen head and neck areas will elicit crepitus, or a ‘Velcro’ sensation, that is not present in anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis occurs after exposure to an allergen that elicits an IgE-mediated hypersensitivity that leads to an abrupt onset of symptoms that may include pruritis of lips, tongue and palate; oedema of the lips; nausea; vomiting; dysponea; wheezing; rhinorrhoea; syncope and hypotension. Anaphylaxis is a true medical emergency, whereas subcutaneous emphysema is generally not life-threatening. Therapy for subcutaneous emphysema involves the following: (i) correct diagnosis and (ii) antibiotic antibiotic therapy. Subcutaneous air will resolve over time; therefore, observation is indicated Complications may rarely include cardiac tempanade, airway compromise, or air embolism. 

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Surgeon Pulled Teeth Directly For Profit

Pulling more teeth than medically necessary from patients mouths, just to make money. That’s the allegation against a local oral surgeon whom News 3 Investigators first exposed a year ago. The state started investigating after her story, and now she tells us what the state says needs to be done to protect patients. The State Board of Dental Examiners wanted to suspend Dr. Jay Selznick’s license, put him on three years probation, prevent him from treating medicaid patients for nine months and force him to reimburse some patients. All because they believe he’s operating below the standard of care and falsifying records to cover his tracks. “I’m glad the truth finally came out and justice will prevail. He will get what he’s got coming. He thinks that he’s above the law, and he’s not.” We first met Medicaid patient Karyn Hopkins a little over a year ago. She went to see Dr. Jay Selznick to have one molar pulled, but when she woke from anesthesia, four teeth were gone. She also says Selznick altered the consent form she’d signed, all so he could bill Medicaid and taxpayers for extra money, at the expense of her health. “I have never, ever […]

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Sarah Billington On Late Show with David Letterman

This is from the Late Show with David Letterman on January 4th, 2008. Sarah enjoyed the time to catch up on things like going to the dentist. She unfortunately learned that she had to get her wisdom teeth pulled. She had no desire to be knocked out so she requested the gas. After a few doses, she felt she needed more. The dentist said to his assistant, “OK, Johnny Cash her!” She was given so much gas that she started freaking out. She couldn’t sit still. She finally requested to be knocked out. They did that, but the last thing she remembers before going bye-bye was hearing the doctor saying, “Whoops! She swallowed it!” When she came to, she found her boyfriend getting directions from the dentist for her to go for a chest x-ray. And Sarah has the x-ray with her. Dave holds it up and we see the wisdom tooth lodged in her chest area. Ouch! Dave asks, “Is it still there?” Sarah: “I don’t think so.” Dave decides not to pursue that line of questioning.

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Skipping Breakfast Ups Tooth Decay Risk For Children

Caregivers should beware that young children who skip breakfast might be fattening their chances of experiencing tooth decay, according to a study in this month’s Journal of the American Dental Association. Using data from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, study authors investigated the relationship between healthful eating practices (such as breast-feeding, eating breakfast and consuming five servings of fruits and vegetables a day) and dental caries in the primary teeth among children two to five years old. “Specifically, not eating breakfast every day was found to be associated with overall caries (tooth decay) experience and untreated decay in the primary dentition in children aged two through five years,” the authors wrote. “Our findings support the notion that even if the effects of poverty could be mitigated, healthful eating practices among preschoolers would contribute to further reduction in caries.” Tooth decay more likely for higher-income kids with poor eating habits According to the authors, it is well known that minority children or children identified within lower socioeconomic groups, are more likely to experience caries compared with non-minority children or children in higher socioeconomic groups. However, in their analysis of […]

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