Persistent Opioid Use After Wisdom Teeth Removal

An interesting article titled “Persistent Opioid Use After Wisdom Tooth Extraction” appears in JAMA in August 7, 2018, written by Harbaugh et al. (vol. 320, no. 5 , pp. 504-506). The article sought out to see if opioid painkiller prescriptions that many young adults receive after having wisdom teeth removed could set them on a path to long-term opioid use. The authors explored data from patients 13 to 30 years old who underwent wisdom tooth extraction in the Truven Health MarketScan Commercial and Dental database (from July 1, 2009-December 31, 2015). The MarketScan database contains de-identified data from insurance claims and includes 43 million to 55 million beneficiaries annually from the 50 states in the U.S. Patients were excluded from the data the authors explored if there was a lapse in enrollment, if the patient had an opioid prescription filled within 6 months … 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

Recent Celebrities to have Wisdom Teeth Removal

In 2018 and through early 2019, there were at least 5 famous celebrities to have their wisdom teeth removed.  The first celebrity is Dua Lipa, a 23 year old woman, who is a famous musician. She even shared on Instagram in a post dated March 11, 2018, an x-ray showing that she has 33 teeth. In a subsequent post dated March 13, 2018, Dua said she was in awful pain and had to cancel some scheduled tour dates with Bruno Mars. After having the wisdom teeth surgery she shared in a video three tips to survive wisdom teeth removal surgery. She said 1) ice cream helps, 2) you should sleep a lot, and 3) you should drink lots of water.  The second celebrity is Violett Bean, a 22 year old woman, who is a famous actress. She shared a photo … 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