An 18 year old is dead after what should have been a routine wisdom tooth extraction. According to Fox News, “18-year-old Benjamin LaMontagne, who attended Cheverus High School, contracted necrotizing fasciitis following a procedure to remove his wisdom teeth.” The procedure left him “extremely weak and dizzy, needing help to crawl to the bathroom,” Fox continues. LaMontagne stopped breathing — and ultimately died — three days after getting his wisdom teeth removed.
How did this happen? Officials believe that a rare bacteria entered LaMontagne’s system. “Commonly referred to as flesh-eating bacteria, necrotizing fasciitis is a rare but extremely aggressive disease that destroys the fascia –- a layer of connective tissue right underneath the skin that surrounds muscles, blood vessels and nerves,” Fox News explains.
Oral surgeons and dentists remind patients that contracting the disease is extremely unlikely. Prior to dental surgery, all staff take preventative measures — such as wearing gloves and sterilizing tools and protective equipment. Moreover, practicing good dental and oral hygiene will help keep diseases, including rare ones like necrotizing fasciitis, at bay. Up to 78% of American teenagers have at least one cavity by age 17; improving dental health and awareness, however, can easily change that — and further decrease patients’ chances of contracting fatal flesh-eating bacteria.
Dentists all across the U.S., and markedly dentists in New Jersey, are taking steps to make dental care more affordable than ever before. Some officials, for example, have launched an online network, working closely with dentists to offer cleanings and other necessary dentalprocedures at discounted rates. New Jersey residents can log onto the network to explore their options for care. In addition to discounted cleanings, extractions, and more, these networks also highlight inexpensive dental insurance plans, payment plans for dental and/or oral surgery, and alternatives to dental insurance plans.
In other words, proper dental care in New Jersey is affordable and accessible. Even American teens who are somewhat negligent and have a cavity or two, however, should not be overly worried. “I have not heard of anything like that, with necrotizing fasciitis as a result of routine oral surgery extractions,” Dr. John Molinari, an American Dental Association (ADA), said.