Oral Surgeons License Suspended for Five Years After Patients Contract Bacterial Infection of the Heart

An oral surgeon in New Jersey has agreed to a five year suspension of his license after 15 patients contracted the bacterial heart infection endocarditis at his office. The oral surgeon also agreed to pay $243,500 in penalties and $50,000 in costs totaling $293,500, to resolve the State of New Jersey’s allegations that he exposed his patients to the risk of contracting endocarditis due to his failure to follow proper infection control procedures at this office. Twelve of the fifteen patients who contracted endocarditis required subsequent surgery and one died as a result of the bacterial heart infection. The investigation into the oral surgeon’s practice began after a 25 year old man was diagnosed with endocarditis about five weeks after having two of his wisdom teeth extracted in June 2014. Specifically the New Jersey Department of Health officials and Enforcement … Read more

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

It may be impossible to remove all bacteria from dental equipment

A few stories have appeared in articles in recent years where someone has gotten an infection at an oral surgeon or dentists office due to unsafe practices. See for example http://blog.teethremoval.com/unsafe-injection-practices-plaque-u-s-outpatient-facilities/. This has occurred when a lapse in following proper infection control practices has occurred. However, even when proper protocols are being followed at dental offices it may still be possible to come down with an infection (although rare). This is supported by a new study in the Journal Water Research titled “Efficacy of dental unit waterlines disinfectants on a polymicrobial biofilm.” The study reveals that disinfectants recommended by companies that manufacture dental unit water lines don’t actually shift all the bacteria in the lines, which means the water lines are never completely clean. The dental water lines are used by dentists to keep their dental equipment, which is always … Read more

Exploring Antibiotic Use with Lower Wisdom Teeth Surgery

An interesting article titled “Correlation of antibiotic prophylaxis and difficulty of extraction with post operative inflammatory complications in the lower third molar surgery” appears in the 2014 British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and written by J. Y. Lee and et al. (vol. 52, pp. 54-57). The article set out to investigate the correlation between antibiotic prophylaxis, difficulty of extraction, and postoperative complications of lower wisdom teeth. The authors say that indiscriminate antibiotic prophylaxis can lead to antimicrobial resistance and a shift in the microbial population. The authors performed a retrospective analysis of extraction of lower wisdom teeth performed at Korea University Guro Hospital over a two year time frame starting in January 2010. The authors only included cases in which cefditoren pivoxil was prescribed as an antibiotic. In addition, patients that were kept in a hospital due to postoperative complications were excluded from the … Read more

Exploring Mandibular Wisdom Teeth Roots after Coronectomy

Coronectomy involves the removal of part of the mandibular wisdom teeth but retention of the root. It is believed to cause less risk to the inferior alveolar nerve than extraction. An article on this topic titled “Histological evaluation of mandibular third molars roots retrieved after coronectomy,” appears in the 2015 British Journal of Oral and Maxilofacial Surgery and written by Vinod Patel and et. al (vol. 52, pp. 415-419). In the article the authors sought to find out the pulpal and periradicular status of retained roots of mandibular wisdom teeth and histologically evaluated coronectomy roots that were removed because of persistent symptoms. It is possible the roots had become infected. A total of 21 patients (with 26 roots) were included in their study with persistent symptoms after the roots had been retrieved. Of the 26 symptomatic roots, radiographic assessments showed coronectomy had been sufficient in … Read more