Should bilateral inferior alveolar and lingual nerve blocks be given for wisdom teeth surgery?

An interesting article titled “Should we be giving bilateral inferior alveolar and lingual nerve blocks for third molar surgery,” appears in the British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and written by J. Jabbar and et al. (2014, vol. 52, pp. 16-17). The article discusses how when someone is having their wisdom teeth extracted they are usually given general anesthesia and 2 inferior alveolar nerve blocks or local anesthesia in one or two visits. The authors feel there is controversy over whether 2 inferior alveolar nerve blocks should be given to patients in a single visit. The authors say the most common complications thought to be associated with bilateral inferior alveolar nerve blocks are injury to the tongue during anesthesia, unpleasant effects, loss of control of the tongue, and bilateral anaesthesia of the tongue, which can lead to collection of fluid in the oral cavity and aspiration. The authors mention a few past … Read more

How safe is deep sedation or anesthesia in dentistry?

An interesting article titled “How safe is deep sedation or general anesthesia while providing dental care?” appears in the Sept. 2015 issue of JADA (volume 146, issue 9, Pages 705–708) and written by Jeffrey D. Bennett and et al. The article discusses how deep sedation and general anesthesia are given daily in dental offices or practices and this is usually done by oral and maxillofacial surgeons and dentist anesthesiologists. Sedation and anesthesia is given to patients to be able to more easily perform procedures and keep the patient safe and comfortable. Unfortunately in rare cases problems can happen and hence the authors were interested in exploring this. The authors state “Using the available data and informational reports, the authors estimate that the incidence of death and brain injury associated with deep sedation or general anesthesia administered by all dentists most likely exceeds 1 … Read more

Osteonecrosis of the Jaw As a Complication After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Removing wisdom teeth or a wisdom tooth has risks and in some instances complications can occur. I have discussed numerous complications of wisdom teeth over at One of the complications discussed is Bisphosphonate Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (BRONJ). What happens is that when a patient is on bisphosphonates and has a tooth extracted (any tooth a wisdom tooth or not) bone that is exposed can fail to heal. A case of this occurring is described at the Daily Mail titled “Grandmother in agony for FOUR YEARS after dentist removed wisdom tooth without checking her medical records,” by Steve Robinson, published on March 19, 2013. In this case a 72 year old woman had a problem where she kept catching her teeth with her cheek and noticed blood. She went to her general practitioner who performed a biopsy and … Read more

Improving Patient Safety: Updates on Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

In a recent blog post I discussed how a few new videos have appeared in recent months related to oral and maxillofacial surgery Videos Related to Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) has also updated several sections of their website in the last year or so. They now have a section titled Orthodontics and Oral Surgery where they have videos related to showcasing various techniques that oral and maxillofacial surgeons and orthodontists perform. In addition they have updated and written a new page titled “Culture of Safety“. The page is a welcome addition and discusses how safety is the number one priority in the oral and maxillofacial surgery office. Now I wanted to take a moment to respond to this page and some other developments I have seen lately across the blogosphere. 1) … Read more

Looking at the Concept of Prevention in Dentistry

An interesting article written by Jay W. Friedman, DDS, MPH, appears in J Evid Base Dent Pract, vol. 12, pp. 53 – 54, 2012. In the article a discussion of three different types of prevention is made. primary prevention secondary prevention tertiary prevention Primary prevention is described as the well known prevention in which one attempts to not have any dental caries, not have any periodontal disease, and not have any loss of teeth. This form of prevention is when one regularly brushes their teeth, flosses, has a dental cleaning, and radiographs performed. The author discusses how typically dentists recommend 6 month intervals between examinations and cleanings. He then says “Patients who form minimal calculus and have no periodontal disease likewise do not need semiannual prophylaxis, or additional service…Lacking evidence of need, this is not prevention but rather FUN (functionally … Read more