Risks of Keeping Wisdom Teeth: Infected Wisdom Tooth Removal Leads to Sepsis

Recently a case of a 25 year old woman from England who developed an infected wisdom tooth has been reported. The woman had the infected wisdom tooth removed in December 2018 after repeated infections had developed. Unfortunately the surgery was eventful and the woman developed complications. Two days after the extraction the woman was not able to hold down any food nor any water. She was urged to go to a hospital by a doctor and spent four days at a hospital. While at the hospital she went into septic shock and was diagnosed with sepsis. She was given intravenous antibiotics and liquids. It was believed that when the wisdom tooth was removed the infection that was present went into her bloodstream. When she was released from the hospital the woman was given six different medications to take. Roughly six … Read more

Updated Sedation Guidelines in Dentistry for Children

Recently new guidelines have been issued regarding the use of sedation for dental procedures performed on children. In the past on this site some scrutiny has been placed on sedation provided to children during dental procedures because of many deaths that have occurred, see for example What to Ask the Dentist Before Children Have Sedation and Pediatric Dental Death in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada Spurs Comments on Dental Anesthesia. In the June 2019 edition (vol. 143, no. 6) of Pediatrics in an article titled Guidelines for Monitoring and Management of Pediatric Patients Before, During, and After Sedation for Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedures written by Coté and Wilson updated guidelines for the use of sedation in dentistry is provided. These guidelines were updated for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for the first time in … Read more

Improving the Mental Health of Oral Surgeons

Before on this site mental health of dentists has been discussed and particularly addressing mental health issues early on such as during dental education see for example the posts A Counseling Model for Dental Students, Designing a Predoctoral Dental Curriculum To Help With Therapy Issues such as Stress Management and Suicide Prevention, and Medical Students Are At Risk For Suicide. However, many oral surgeons are still afraid to own up to any mental health issues they may have. This is discussed in the editorial titled “Time to change the narrative” appearing in Oral Surgery in 2018 (vol. 11, pp. 97–97). The editorial discusses how oral surgery is increasing a stressful profession. This is because of increasing threats of litigation along with patients increasing having higher expectations of surgical outcomes. The traits that define a good surgeon are those who put … Read more

Does a Patient’s Psychological Profile Influence Pain Experienced by Wisdom Teeth Removal?

An interesting article titled “Does Psychological Profile Influence Third Molar Extraction and Postoperative Pain?” appears in the 2017 edition of the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery written by Gonzalez-Martinez et al. (vol. 75, pp. 484-490). The article explores if psychological distress is associated with higher levels of dental anxiety and pain following wisdom teeth surgery. Dental anxiety has been shown in studies to be present in 3% to 20% of the population and oral surgery has been shown to provoke the most anxiety. The authors feel that detecting dental anxiety early is essential and one tool for evaluating the psychological profile of an individual is the Symptom Checklist 90 (SCL-90). The authors devised a triple blinded study for patients having wisdom teeth extracted (surgeon, anesthetist, and patient). Patients presented at the University Hospital Casa de Salud of Valencia in … Read more

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Utilizing New Methods To Reach Patients for Wisdom Teeth Management

According to the March/April 2019 and May/June 2019 editions of AAOMS Today, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) is utilizing new methods to reach patients for wisdom teeth management. AAOMS is utilizing methods taking advantage of public service announcements (PSA) at airports, on radio, and on television (TV). AAOMS is also utilizing new infographics on websites and social media. According to page 22 in the March/April 2019 issue of AAOMS Today, in mid 2018 AAOMS launched airport PSAs with signage saying “Pain or no pain, your wisdom teeth should be checked every year.” In addition a picture of either a young woman or young man is featured along with the AAOMS logo, the tagline of AAOMS stating “Oral and maxillofacial surgeons: The experts in face, mouth and jaw surgery”, and also telling patients to find a surgeon … Read more