Wisdom Teeth Removal Death in 2016 in Florida: Settlement Reached

A 17-year-old man died after having wisdom teeth removed in April 2016 in Florida. The man had the procedure performed under conscious sedation. During the surgery the man stopped breathing which led to irreversible brain damage and he suffered cardiopulmonary arrest during administration of the anesthesia. He was in a coma for two days before his parents made the painful decision to pull the plug on life support and then he died. There was no known medical history that might have contributed. Further, there was no anesthesia record that could be found to show the man’s blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen were being during the surgery. An attorney for the dentist who performed the surgery said that vital signs were recorded on an anesthesia record which was given to the EMS personnel when the man was transported to a hospital. A … Read more

Twenty one year old woman improving after wisdom teeth removal caused brain injury

A young woman from Kansas is improving after spending months recovering from brain injury that occurred after having wisdom teeth removed in March 2018. The woman was finishing up her senior year of college and planning a wedding prior to going into cardiac arrest and suffering brain injury from wisdom teeth surgery. She spent a month in intensive care and then moved to a rehabilitation center for seven months. While at the rehabilitation center, the woman learned to walk again with the help of a robotic exoskeleton. She now uses sign language to communicate and has regained some lost vision. Some members of the woman’s community helped to set up an online raffle to help chip in for expenses now that the woman is attending physical therapy three times a week to continue to improve. Originally the doctors thought the … Read more

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

Pneumomediastinum After Coronectomy

An interesting article titled “Surgical emphysema and pneumomediastinum after coronectomy” appears in the 2015 British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and written by C. Wong and et al. (vol. 53, pp. 763-764). The article describes a case of emphysema and pneumomediastinum occuring in an otherwise healthy 48 year old women after coronectomy of a lower wisdom tooth. This was determined by a chest x-ray after she presented with swelling and impaired eye opening. No surgery was necessary and after staying in the hospital several hours she was discharged. Around a week later the swelling had resolved. The authors say they do not know of any other cases of pneumomediastinum occuring after coronectomy; however, it is known to occur after wisdom teeth removal. See http://www.teethremoval.com/complications.html where a discussion of this occurs. It appears that an air turbine drill was used in this women’s case and introduced air into the mediastinum … Read more