Peñarrocha MA, Ata-Ali J, Carrillo C, Peñarrocha M. Subcutaneous emphysema resulting from surgical extraction without elevation of a mucoperiosteal skin flap. J Clin Exp Dent. 2011;3(3):e265-7.
Subcutaneous emphysema, is a rare occurrence in dental practice. It is usually benign and self-limiting; nevertheless, severe consequences can result from surgical treatment. Emphysema occurs when air is injected into the subcutaneous layer of the tissue, this may come from either an air turbine handpiece or air syringe. Due to the danger of developing emphysema, procedures using compressed air are not recommended in dental extractions involving the raising of a skin flap, bone sectioning or exeresis. Two determining factors are always involved with subcutaneous emphysema. On the one hand, a compressed air procedure (air turbine handpiece, air-water syringe), and on the other, a communication between the oral cavity and deeper tissue producing dissection. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to prevent the trapped air leaking into other areas.
The aim is to present a case of subcutaneous emphysema related to dental extraction, without raising a mucoperiosteal flap, possibly caused by close contact between the air turbine handpiece and the tooth during sectioning which forced air into the subcutaneous tissue.