Eighteen Year Old Music Student in Portland Dies After Wisdom Teeth Removal

An eighteen year old male high school student planning to study music in college died last February in Portland, Maine, after having his wisdom teeth removed. The story is from Portland Press Herald, by Matt Byrne, posted February 26, 2014, titled “Love, sorrow, questions after Cheverus student’s death,” and accessed March 21, 2014. See http://www.pressherald.com/news/Cheverus_senior__budding_musician__dies_after_routine_oral_surgery_.html. The article describes the eighteen year old man as independent and compassionate and able to play the trumpet, bassoon, saxophone and English concertina. In this particular case the man had wisdom teeth extracted on a Wednesday in February. He then went home and two days later on Friday night his condition deteriorated. He is said to have died in the early hours Saturday in his mother’s arms at home.

In the article Dr. Thomas Dodson, who now is with the University of Washington in Seattle is quoted and his thoughts are expressed. He says

“I’m trained as an epidemiologist, and I can’t say I’ve even ever read (about a death) anywhere… It’s kind of one of these things that, when we do studies and we enroll 10,000 patients, death doesn’t happen. You’d need to probably enroll hundreds of thousands of patients to assess the rate of death”

He means that in actual medical studies that are reported in journal articles. Typically the deaths one hears about are just in news stories. In the article Dr. Dodson says “… in 20 years of surveys completed by every oral surgeon in Massachusetts – 150 to 200 surgeons in all – not a single death was recorded among patients who had wisdom teeth extracted.” I have previously reviewed these studies which are cited over here http://www.teethremoval.com/mortality_rates_in_dentistry.html. These are the studies by Edward M. D’Eramo and others.

The current president of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons is also quoted in the article and says “There’s not many ways that this type of surgery can go wrong.”

For other cases of people unfortunately dieing shortly after having wisdom teeth surgery see http://www.teethremoval.com/death.html.

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