Four and half million settlement in wisdom teeth extraction death

The family of a 31 year old woman who died later on the same day after having wisdom teeth removed in September 2011 was awarded a $4.5 million settlement. The woman had her wisdom teeth removed at a hospital in Chicago, Illinois, USA. She presented for surgery after an infection in her lower left wisdom tooth. The woman had known issues, including a narrow airway due to a congenital vascular malformation on the right side of her mouth and both she and her father told doctors she could not be intubated for that reason. Depsite being provided this information the hospital staff did not note it in her her pre-operative file and made an initial incision that caused significant bleeding. After this was done, doctors attempted to intubate the woman with the use of a laryngoscope blade which led to … Read more

Opioid Prescriptions From Dental Clinicians for Young Adults and Subsequent Opioid Use and Abuse

A very interesting article titled “Association of Opioid Prescriptions From Dental Clinicians for US Adolescents and Young Adults With Subsequent Opioid Use and Abuse” written by Schroeder et al. was published online on December 3, 2018, in JAMA Internal Medicine. The article sought out to examine the association between dental opioid prescriptions from dental clinicians for adolescents and young adults and new persistent use and subsequent diagnoses of abuse. The article states that dentists are the leading source of opioid prescriptionsfor children and adolescents from age 10 to 19 and in 2009 prescribed 31% of total opioids given to this age group. A common source of dental opioid exposure is of course wisdom teeth extractions. The article states that the authors were at least partially motivated to perform their study over the controversy surrounding whether or not one should extract or retain healthy wisdom … Read more

Antibiotics for Dental Use Contributing to SuperBugs

Research has shown that antibiotics prescribed by dentists for various dental surgeries and procedures may contribute to the development of Clostridium difficile (C. diff), a serious and potentially deadly infection with severe diarrhea. A common questions many patients ask if they are having their wisdom teeth out includes if they should take antibiotics. This topic has been covered before on teethremoval.com, for example see http://www.teethremoval.com/antibiotic_resistance.html, http://blog.teethremoval.com/patients-perception-of-antibiotic-need-after-teeth-removal/,and http://blog.teethremoval.com/the-effect-of-a-single-dose-of-antibiotics-prior-to-wisdom-teeth-surgery/. The current guidance seems to recommend a single dose of antibiotics prior to surgery for high risk patients for postoperative infections but other healthy patients do not need any antibiotics prior to surgery. During the annual ID Week2017, which is an annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS), researchers presented their findings on antibiotic prescriptions leading … Read more

Low sensitivity to pain due to gene mutation

A research team from UCL has identified a rare mutation that causes members of one family to have low sensitivity to pain. The researchers hope that the results could be used to identify new treatments for chronic pain. One in ten people experience moderate to severe disabling chronic pain. Understanding congenital analgesia, a rare inherited condition that reduces the capacity to feel physical pain, could lead to new pain relief therapies. Two mutations causing congenital analgesia are being explored by researchers working with pharmaceutical firms, but no breakthrough drugs have been developed. The researchers studied an Italian family, the Marsilis, which has six people with a distinctive pain response unique to them. The members of this family can burn themselves without feeling any pain. The family has normal intraepidermal nerve fibre density which means they are not missing any nerves. … Read more

Providing Dental Care for Adults with Mental Health Disorders: Can Increased Interaction with Therapists Help?

An interesting article titled “Providing oral care for adults with mental health disorders: Dental professionals’ perceptions and experiences in Perth, Western Australia” written by Clair Scrine, Angela Durey, and Linda Slack-Smith, appears in Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology (pp. 1–7, 2018). The article sought out to explore dental professionals’ perceptions and experiences of providing oral health care for adults with mild to moderate mental health disorders in Perth, Western Australia. The article suggests that people with mental health disorders have poorer oral health outcomes and are even less likely to receive dental care. In Australia those with several mental health disorders are more likely to have decayed, missing or filled teeth than the general population. It is believed that access to care and affordability in Australia limit those with mental health disorders from receiving dental care. Most of the dental care (~85%) in Australia is through the private sector. The authors … Read more