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Article: Volume 43 Number 8 Page 745 - October 2016

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  Dent Update 2016; 43: 745-752

Oral surgery:  A Guide to Deep Neck Space Fascial Infections for the Dental Team

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Abstract: The majority of serious dental infections can be prevented by early treatment of the local pathology. Patients with potentially life-threatening neck space infections arising from the oral cavity may, however, still present in dental practice. This paper outlines the pertinent surgical anatomy and pathophysiology, signs and symptoms, and key early-stage management of these severe infections.

Clinical relevance: The dental team should be able to assess patients presenting with potential neck space involvement from a dental or oral infection. They should be able to instigate appropriate early treatment, and identify those requiring prompt referral for assessment and management.

Author notes: Barry Main, PhD, MRCS(Ed), MFDS(Ed), MB ChB(Hons), BDS(Hons), BMSc(Hons), Specialty Registrar in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, (B.G.Main@bristol.ac.uk), John Collin, BSc, MB ChB, MRCS, BDS, Specialty Registrar in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Oral and Dental Science, University of Bristol, Lower Maudlin Street, Bristol BS1 2LY, Margaret Coyle, BA, BDentSc, MFDS RCSI, MB BCh BAO, FRCS(OMFS), Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Gloucester, GL1 3NN, Ceri Hughes BDS, FDRSCR, MB ChB, FRCS(OMFS), FRACCDS(OMS), Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol, BS1 2LY and Steven Thomas, BDS, MB ChB, PhD, FDS RCS, FRCS(OMFS), Professor and Consultant in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Oral and Dental Science, University of Bristol, Lower Maudlin Street, Bristol, BS1 2LY, UK.

Objective: To understand the basic surgical anatomy of the fascial planes of the head and neck.

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