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

Using Dexmedetomidine For Wisdom Teeth Surgery

An interesting article titled “Sedation Protocol Using Dexmedetomidine for Third Molar Extraction” appears in the 2016 Journal of Oral and Maxilofacial Surgery written by Dae-Seung Ryu and et. al. (vol. 74, pp. 926.e1-926.e7). The article seems to determine a sedation protocol for dexmedetomidine. The authors state that IV sedation is often given in cases of wisdom teeth surgery with midazolam being a medication commonly used. When midazolam is combined with opioids it can cause respiratory depression. Dexmedetomidine is an alpa2-agonist acting on adrenoceptors in many tissues, including those in the nervous, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems. Compared with midazolam, the major advantage of dexmedetomidine is its minimal effect on the respiratory system. It also produces an analgesic effect which can help alleviate the sensation of pain after tooth extraction. The authors set out to study the pain, patient satisfaction, sedation depth, and adverse effects after wisdom teeth extraction using dexmedetomidine and to compare IV and intranasal (IN) routes of administration. The … Read more

Does Midazolam Impact the Recovery Room Stay for Wisdom Teeth Surgery?

An interesting article titled “Does Intravenous Midazolam Dose Influence the Duration of Recovery Room Stay Following Outpatient Third Molar Surgery?” appears in the 2015 Journal of Oral and Maxilofacial Surgery written by Kyle S. Ettinger and et al. (vol. 73, pp. 2287-2293). Midazolam is very commonly used for patients undergoing wisdom teeth surgery and the authors set out to determine if it impacts the length a patient stays in the recovery room. Intravenous (IV) midazolam has a rapid onset of effect, short duration of action, minimal impact on cardiac function, minimal effect on respiratory depression, and it produces anterograde amnesia. Some more recent literate has shown that IV midazolam might be associated with prolonged recovery time for oral surgery. Midazolam can cause postoperative cognitive impairment. The study used patients who had all four wisdom teeth removed at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota between the ages of 14 and 29. The … 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