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

Should Patients Be Told Of Trainee Role in Their Surgery?

An interesting article titled “Should Patients Be Told of Resident Role in Their Surgery?” appears in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery written by James R. Hupp (2015, vol., 73, pp. 2071-2073). The article discusses how early July is the beginning of a new academic year in most hospital-based medical and dental residency programs. During this time many new doctors obtain clinical education. Hospital based dental residency programs often involved a lot of surgical procedures. The article questions if patients should be told of the residents potential role (and lack of experience) in their own surgery. The saying goes that one should try to avoid going to the emergency room or have surgery the first week of July or even all of July. The common thought is that the large amount of new trainees increases the chances of patient problems. In actuality, most first-year residents are given limited or … Read more

Proper Dental Care Can Lead to Less Respiratory Infections in the ICU

A study appearing in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology suggests that proper dental care can lead to less respiratory infections in the intensive care unit (ICU) of a hospital. The study was conducted by Brazilian researchers who used an observer-blind randomized clinical trial to analyze data from 254 patients who stayed in a ICU for at least 48 hours. The patients were randomized to receive enhanced dental care by a dentist or to receive standard oral hygiene by a nurse. Enhanced dental care included teeth brushing, tongue scraping, atraumatic restorative treatment, removal of calculus, extraction of teeth, and topical application of chlorhexidine 4 to 5 times a week. Regular dental care consisted of mechanical cleansing using gauze which was followed by chlorhexidine 3 times a week. The patients who received enchanced dental care were 56% less likely to develop a respiratory … Read more

Exploring the Alternative to Medical Injury Claims in New Hampshire

In a post last year I dicussed briefly the early offer system in New Hampshire see The Optional Alternative to Medical Injury Claims. This is the first of the kind system in the United States that is an alternative to the traditional medical malpractice system. An article in the 2013 issue 4 of the American Journal of Law and Medicine has explored this titled “Evaluating New Hampshire’s First-In-The-Nation Early Offer Alternative to Medical Malpractice Litigation,” and written by John W. Masland. The article states “Many states have enacted medical malpractice reforms, recognizing that their tort systems result in protracted litigation, high costs, and a large number of uncompensated victims. One proposed reform, an “early offer” system, allows a medical provider to make a financial offer covering an injured patient’s economic damages, which, if the patient accepts, precludes litigation…On June 27, 2012, … Read more

Pediatric Dental Death in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada Spurs Comments on Dental Anesthesia

Recently, a death has occurred in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, in a dental office. Details of the case have not yet been released, but a boy died after getting anesthetic and had a previously undetected heart condition. It seemed to have occurred sometime around late April, 2014, but the date may be off a bit. It appears that in this case the boy was brought to a hospital after the dental office in an attempt to save his life. An interesting article over in the Cambridge times published June 27, 2014, by Gordon Paul, titled “Pediatric dental surgery with anesthesia should be done in hospitals, dentist says,” provides some comments on this case. See http://www.cambridgetimes.ca/news-story/4605070-pediatric-dental-surgery-with-anesthesia-should-be-done-in-hospitals-dentist-says/. In this article comments by Dr. Hanover who is on the political action committee of the Ontario Dental Association are provided. He says “I think every pediatric dentist … Read more