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Vol. 72, No. 6
ISSN: 1488-2159
July / August 2006


Cervicofacial and Mediastinal Emphysema Complicating a Dental Procedure


• Andrew J. Mather, BSc, DDS •
• Andrew A. Stoykewych, BSc, DMD, Dip OMS •
• John B. Curran, BDS, FFDRCS(Irel), FRCD(C) •

A b s t r a c t

Cervicofacial subcutaneous emphysema is an infrequently reported sequela of dental
surgery. It may be caused by the inadvertent introduction of air into the soft tissues during
procedures using high-speed, air-driven handpieces or air–water syringes. In this paper, we
present a case in which subcutaneous emphysema developed in a middle-aged woman
following routine restorative treatment. We review the features of the condition and its
treatment and discuss means of prevention.


MeSH Key Words: anesthesia, dental/adverse effects; mandibular nerve/injuries; nerve block/adverse effects; sensation disorders/etiology
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