Using imaging to map arteries to reduce complications and improve outcomes in oral surgeries

When oral surgeons are working in the mouth they use the greater palatine artery as a landmark which is important for them to know to avoid damaging any surrounding nerves. There can be a discrepancy of where the surgeon thinks the palatine artery is and where it actually is by up to around 4 to 5 millimeters. This discrepancy is enough to lead to complications and injuries while the surgeon is working in the mouth area. One such complication that could occur is that the greater palatine artery is severed and significant bleeding occurs (hemorrhaging). The greater palatine nerve is also very close to the greater palatine artery and damaging this nerve can lead to potential permanent loss of feeling in parts of the mouth. As a result, oral surgeons tend to avoid any possible locations around where the greater … Read more

Large Study of Complications after Oral Surgeries

An interesting article titled “Study on post-operative complications after outpatient treatments” written by van der Sleen et al. appears in the 2013 edition of Oral Surgery. The authors were interested in evaluating the post-operative problems or complaints after surgery by oral and maxillofacial surgeons and the frequency of follow up phone calls or visits after the surgery. The authors devised a study to look at all patients who visited Isala Clinics located in the Netherlands in April 2009. All surgeries were performed by six oral and maxillofacial surgeons and two senior residents and done under local anesthesia. All patients received an antiseptic, chlorhexidine 0.12%, to rinse their mouth with 3 times a day for 7 days after surgery. All patients were also given prescriptions for ibuprofen 600 mg to control pain as needed. The surgeries were grouped into four separate … Read more

Unique Complications after Wisdom Teeth Removal: Case Reports

Complications can occur after having wisdom teeth surgery, see http://www.teethremoval.com/complications.html. Some of these complications are pretty rare and unusual. Recently in Oral Surgery several case reports have been reported describing some rare complications after wisdom teeth surgery. In the article titled “Spread of infection to skull base via infratemporal fossa after dental extraction related to the use of a high-speed hand piece: a case report” by Moore et al. appearing in Oral Surgery in 2018 (vol. 11, pp. 121-124) discussion is made of a 36 year old woman who had a lower right wisdom tooth removed. The woman developed a deep fascial infection that required formal exploration and drainage. The authors speculate that the woman experienced swelling and infection because of the use of an air driven high-speed hand piece used in the extraction. Forced air from the hand piece … Read more

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

Acquiring Hepatitis B at the Oral Surgery Office

In late 2019 on this site, a post titled Acquiring Hepatitis C at the Oral Surgery Office described how it is possible to acquire Hepatitis C while having oral surgery. In that post, a case that occurred in Oklahoma in 2012 was described. Prior to that case, there was a case in 2001, where a patient acquired Hepatitis B virus (HBV) at an oral surgery office. This is described in the article published in 2007, titled “Patient-to-Patient Transmission of Hepatitis B Virus Associated with Oral Surgery,” written by J. T. Redd et al., appearing in The Journal of Infectious Diseases (no. 195, pp. 1311–1314). In the article, the authors, at the time, describe the first documented (via medical literature) description of a case of patient-to patient transmission of a blood-borne pathogen in the U.S. occurring in a dental setting. In … Read more