Dentoalveolar infections include a wide range of conditions from localized abscesses to deep-neck space infections or more severe cases of necrotizing fasciitis. Odontogenic infections and emergencies are a significant part of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon’s daily practice. On a daily basis, an oral surgeon needs to be prepared to deal with any infection-related emergencies ranging from a toothache, localized vestibular abscess to deep head and neck abscesses. Management of these odontogenic infections could propose a challenge due to complex microbiology of the odontogenic infection and the potential for advancement to a life-threatening emergency. It is crucial that the oral and maxillofacial surgeon has knowledge of anatomic boundaries and fascial spaces to be able to make an accurate diagnosis and perform prompt surgical management. For the patient, odontogenic infections may carry high incidence of morbidity and mortality if not treated promptly. Management of patient with an odontogenic infection is a multifaceted approach involving (1) an examination and assessment of the patient, (2) identifying the source of the infection, (3) anatomic considerations, (4) surgical intervention, (5) administration of the appropriate antimicrobial therapy, and (6) referral to an appropriate provider if indicated. This chapter provides the clinician with a better understanding of diagnosis and pharmacological management as well as surgical treatment of patients with odontogenic infections.
Part of the book: A Textbook of Advanced Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery