Perioperative dental injury at a tertiary care health system: An eight-year audit of 816,690 anesthetics



Among all complications of airway management, dental injury is the most common cause of patient complaints with medicolegal consequences. Over an 8-year period, data on dental injury were collected within a large university hospital system that included community, tertiary, and quaternary care centers. Patient characteristics were compared among all patients receiving anesthesia care using billing data collected from the same period. Of the 816,690 patients who received anesthesia care, there were 360 dental injuries, giving an overall incidence of 1:2,269 (0.044%). Patients receiving general anesthesia were at an increased risk for dental injuries, with an incidence of 1:1,754 (0.057%) compared with patients receiving monitored anesthesia care in whom the incidence was 1:12,500 (0.008%). Patients in the age group 18 to 65 years had a higher incidence of dental injuries of 1:1,818 (0.055%) compared with pediatric patients, who had an incidence of 1:7,692 (0.013%). Emergency procedures were not associated with an increased risk of dental injury in the 816,690 cases. However, of the 360 patients who sustained a dental injury, emergency procedures were associated with a higher incidence of injuring multiple teeth.