Subcutaneous and Retropharyngeal Emphysema Confirmed by CT Imaging: Report of Two Cases
We experienced two cases of subcutaneous emphysema after tooth extraction of the lower third molar. Both patients visited the attending dentist within 24 hours after the surgical procedure complaining of an abnormal sensation in the submandibular area and the neck. On their own rather than by referral by their dentists, they visited our hospital. After subjective examinations, CT imaging proved extremely useful for diagnosis.1) Specifically, the extent of each lesion was clarified and the clinical course and the progress of its disappearance were visualized easily though the patient could not avoid exposing to radiation. The diagnosis of subcutaneous emphysema from clinical symptoms such as the sound of crepitation and typical radiographs seems easy. Management and treatment consisted of a rest cure and intravenous injection of broad-spectrum antibiotics for prophylaxis. To date, more than 100 cases of subcutaneous emphysema have been reported by both domestic and foreign authors.2) Therefore, such cases following dental procedures should not be regarded as rare, and all dentists should be aware of the possible occurrence of emphysema and its management.