Publication: Subcutaneous emphysema and pneumomediastinum complicating a dental procedure
Cervicofacial emphysema and pneumomediastinum are rarely observed complications of dental interventions. The complications are associated with the use of a high-speed air-turbine dental drill. It is a potentially life-threatening condition, but the majority of cases are self-limiting and benign. We describe a patient with remarkable subcutaneous emphysema, pneumomediastinum, and partial pneumothorax after right second mandibular molar extraction. Dentists and physicians more often attribute the rapid onset of dyspnea in patients after a dental procedure to an allergic reaction to the anesthesia used during the procedure. Dentists and physicians should be aware that soft tissue emphysema can cause acute swelling of the cervicofacial region after dental procedures, which may mimic an allergic reaction.