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Article: Volume 44 Number 3 Page 217 - March 2017

  Dent Update 2017; 44: 217-220  Read article

Oral surgery:  Surgical Emphysema: A Rare Complication of a Simple Surgical Dental Extraction Without the Use of an Air-Driven Rotor

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Abstract: Surgical emphysema is a rare complication of dental extractions, often associated with the use of high-speed air rotors. This report describes a case of extensive surgical emphysema following a simple surgical extraction of a LL6 under local anaesthetic. There was no use of air-driven handpieces during the procedure. The patient developed extensive surgical emphysema bi-laterally in both cervical neck and facial planes. After prophylactic antibiotics with careful monitoring in a secondary care setting, the patient made a full unremarkable recovery.

Clinical relevance: Simple extraction of teeth is a procedure carried out daily by most general dental practitioners. However, the risk of surgical emphysema without the use of high-speed air rotors or instruments using pressurized air/water is not well known or documented.

Author notes: Keegan Gowans, BDS, MJDF RCS(Eng), MSc, (Orthodontic Specialty Registrar), Muneer Patel, BDS, MFDS, MJDF, PGDip, FFD(OSOM) (Staff Grade Oral Surgeon) and Khari Lewis, BDS, MBBS, MFDS, MRCS (Specialist Registrar Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery), East Kent University Hospital Foundation Trust, William Harvey Hospital, Kennington Road, Willesborough, Ashford, Kent TN24 0LZ, UK.

Objective: To highlight the importance of post-operative instructions following simple dental extractions in general dental practice.