Bone Infection From Dental Surgery: How Does It Occur And How Is It Treated?

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Bone Infection From Dental Surgery: What Are The Various Kinds Of Dental Surgeries And How Can They Cause Bone Infection?

There are several different problems that can affect teeth and therefore there are several different types of surgeries that are routinely performed to treat these problems. Examples of common types of dental surgery include root canal, in which one or more teeth are hollowed out, treated with disinfectant, and then filled. Other surgery types include apicoectomy surgery, in which the root tip of one or more teeth are removed and filled with artificial material, extraction surgery, in which one or more teeth are wholly removed, and fiberotomy surgery, in which the fibers surrounding one or more teeth are cut to prevent the tooth or teeth from relapsing.

Bone infection, which is also commonly referred to as osteomyelitis, occurs when foreign pathogenic bacteria are introduced into the mouth during dental surgery. Once inside the mouth, these bacteria penetrate newly cut or otherwise manipulated tissue and they even can find their way into the bloodstream. These bacteria ultimately travel into bone material after they have entered the bloodstream or penetrated nearby tissue. Once inside bone material, these bacteria multiply and pain and swelling typically ensue. Such infection usually is not rid by the body on its own and therefore osteomyelitis generally is best treated by a qualified clinician.

How Are Bone Infections Treated?

In mild cases of bone infection, the infection is treated by administering to the patient one or more antibiotics that act to kill the bacteria that are the root source of the infection. In a typical first step, the treating clinician will perform a biopsy of the affected bone material to determine exactly which bacterial species is the infective culprit. Based on that knowledge, the clinician will select the one or more antibiotics that are generally considered to be most effective at preventing the growth of, or killing, the bacteria. Such antibiotic treatment usually lasts more than a month and is typically administered intravenously.

For more serious infections, additional steps may be taken in conjunction with antibiotic treatment. These steps include draining the area around the infected bone to remove any pus that has built up near the bone, excising any dead bone material and other dead tissue that is adjacent to the bone, and implanting live tissue taken from another area of the body next to the bone to restore blood flow to the bone. In severe cases, plastic surgery may be required (or merely desired) to restore the patient’s facial appearance.

This article is only meant to provide some basic background information regarding bone infection from dental surgery. It is not meant to replace the good advice of your dentist or doctor. If you have any further questions about this topic, please consult your dentist or family physician.


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