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Am J Emerg Med. 1999 Nov;17(7):678-80.

Subcutaneous emphysema and pneumomediastinum after dental extraction.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, ROC.


Pneumomediastinum, pneumothorax, and subcutaneous emphysema can occur occasionally after a surgical procedure. Facial swelling is a common complication of dental management. The occurrence of subcutaneous emphysema, pneumothorax, and pneumomediastinum after dental procedures is rare. We present a case with subcutaneous emphysema of the upper chest, neck, chin, and pneumomediastinum after a tooth extraction and discuss the possible mechanism of subcutaneous emphysema. To prevent these complications during dental procedures, dental hand pieces that have air coolant and turbines that exhaust air in the surgical field should not be used.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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