Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: The British journal of oral & maxillofacial surgery


The proximity to the patient during dental care, high generation of aerosols, and the identification of SARS-CoV-2 in saliva have suggested the oral cavity as a potential reservoir for COVID-19 transmission. Mouthwashes are widely-used solutions due to their ability to reduce the number of microorganisms in the oral cavity. Although there is still no clinical evidence that they can prevent the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, preoperative antimicrobial mouth rinses with chlorhexidine gluconate (CHX), cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), povidone-iodine (PVP-I), and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) have been recommended to reduce the number of microorganisms in aerosols and drops during oral procedures. This paper therefore aims to provide a comprehensive review of the current recommendations on the use of mouthwashes against the COVID-19 pandemic and to analyse the advantages and disadvantages of most conventional antiseptic mouthwashes used in dentistry.


The most stable pattern of internal fixation for fractures of the mandibular condyle is a matter for ongoing discussion. In this study we investigated the stability of three commonly used patterns of plate fixation, and constructed finite element models of a simulated mandibular condylar fracture. The completed models were heterogeneous in the distribution of bony material properties, contained about 1.2 million elements, and incorporated simulated jaw-adducting musculature. Models were run assuming linear elasticity and isotropic material properties for bone. This model was considerably larger and more complex than previous finite element models that have been used to analyse the biomechanical behaviour of differing plating techniques. The use of two parallel 2.0 titanium miniplates gave a more stable configuration with lower mean element stresses and displacements over the use of a single miniplate. In addition, a parallel orientation of two miniplates resulted in lower stresses and displacements than did the use of two miniplates in an offset pattern. The use of two parallel titanium plates resulted in a superior biomechanical result as defined by mean element stresses and relative movement between the fractured fragments in these finite element models.

Concepts: Bone fracture, Fracture, Mathematics, Finite element method, Materials science, Orientation, Elasticity, Finite element method in structural mechanics


Our objective was to investigate the pathway of the lingual nerve and find out whether it can be identified using ultrasonography (US) intraorally. It is a dominant sensory nerve that branches from the posterior division of the mandibular aspect of the trigeminal nerve, and is one of the two most injured nerves during oral surgery. Its anatomy in the region of the third molar has been associated with lingual nerves of variable morphology. If surgeons can identify its precise location using US, morbidity should decrease. We searched published anatomical and specialty texts, journals, and websites for reference to its site and US. Cadavers (28 nerves) were dissected to analyse its orientation at the superior lingual alveolar crest (or lingual shelf). Volunteers (140 nerves) had US scans to identify the nerve intraorally. Our search of published books and journals found that descriptions of the nerve along the superior lingual alveolar crest were inadequate. We found no US studies of the nerve in humans. Dissections showed that the nerve was above (n=6, 21%) and below (n=22, 79%) the crest of the lingual plate. US scans showed 140 lingual nerves intraorally in 70 volunteers. The nerve lay either above or below the superior lingual alveolar crest, which led us to develop a high/low classification system. US can identify the lingual nerve and help to classify it preoperatively to avoid injury. Our results suggest that clinical anatomy of the lingual nerve includes the superior lingual alveolar crest at the third and second molars because of its surgical importance. US scans can successfully identify the nerve intraorally preoperatively.

Concepts: Neuroanatomy, Cranial nerves, Anatomy, Mandibular nerve, Tongue, Trigeminal nerve, Dissection, Lingual nerve


Our aim was to explore the relation between the site of the mandibular canal and neurosensory impairment after extraction of impacted mandibular third molars. We organised a retrospective study of 537 extractions in 318 patients in which the affected tooth was intersected by the mandibular canal. This was verified by cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT), and we analysed the relation between the site of the canal and the likelihood of injury to the inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) after extraction of the third molar. The relation between the position of the root of the tooth and the mandibular canal was categorised into 4 groups: I=root above the canal; II=on the buccal side; III=on the lingual side; and IV=between the roots. The overall rate of neurosensory impairment after extraction was 6% (33/537). It occurred in 9/272 patients (3%) in group 1, 16/86 (19%) in group II, and in 8/172 (5%) in group III. There was no neurosensory impairment in group IV where the canal was between the roots. There were significant differences between group II and groups I and III (p<0.01), but not between groups I and III (p=0.32). The risk of damage to the inferior alveolar nerve is increased if third molars intersect with the mandibular canal, particularly on its buccal side.

Concepts: Teeth, Molar, Mandibular nerve, Lingual nerve, Inferior alveolar nerve, Inferior alveolar artery, Mandibular canal, Mandibular third molar


Our aim was to analyse the amount of anxiety and fear felt before, immediately after, and one week after, dental extraction. We studied 70 patients (35 men and 35 women (mean (SD) age 43 (±10) years), who were listed for dental extraction under local anaesthesia in a private clinic that specialised in oral surgery. Patients were evaluated on 3 consecutive occasions: immediately preoperatively, immediately postoperatively, and 7 days later. Each patient’s anxiety was measured using Spielberger’s State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (Spanish version), the Modified Corah Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS) and the Dental Fear Survey. There were significant differences in the STAI-Trait scale between before and 7 days after extraction (p=0.04), and in the MDAS between before and immediately after extraction (p=0.02), and between immediately after and 7 days after extraction (p=<0.001). The DFS also differed between before and immediately after extraction (p=0.002), and between immediately and 7 days after extraction (p<0.001). Dental anxiety immediately after tooth extraction may be influenced by operative techniques (type of anaesthesia, duration of operation, or position of tooth extracted), but anxiety at 7 days after extraction is not.

Concepts: Anxiety, Anesthesia, Local anesthesia, Endodontic therapy, Oral and maxillofacial surgery, Toothache, Dentistry procedures, Dental extraction


The association between smoking and postoperative complications is compounded in patients who have oral and maxillofacial operations by an additional local effect, and patients often continue to smoke after operation despite advice to stop. Recent studies have suggested that nicotine may reduce inflammation and improve angiogenesis, so topical application may be beneficial for smokers. The electronic cigarette is increasing in popularity and more patients ask whether they can vape after operation. We investigated the effect of electronic cigarettes (of which half contained nicotine and half did not) on blood flow in the buccal mucosa in 10 volunteers immediately after vaping. Smokers were excluded as this was considered an additional variable in a small pilot study and our Trust has a no-smoking policy. After vaping for 5minutes, capillary blood flow was measured in the buccal mucosa at 5-minute intervals using a laser Doppler probe, and the results were expressed as arbitrary perfusion units. There was a wide variation in results and a small but significant rise (p=0.008) as a result of nicotine vaping, but these fell to the same levels as before within 30minutes. Electronic cigarettes may have an effect on blood flow to the oral mucosa, although further studies are needed to show whether they improve healing time after operation. Additional work is also needed to compare them with cigarettes.

Concepts: Mucous membrane, Oral mucosa, Smoking, Tobacco, Cigarette, Nicotine, Electronic cigarette, Buccal mucosa


Despite extensive research, the pathophysiology of oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF), a premalignant condition that primarily affects the mucosa, is still unclear, although the chewing of areca nut is known to be the primary cause. While a clear association exists between areca nut and OSMF, very little has been published on the reason for its sporadic incidence in the mouth. Many authors have suggested the site where quid is habitually placed, but this fails to explain multiple sites in those who chew on one side. We hypothesised that the pattern of salivary pooling might affect the distribution of OSMF by carrying the chemicals responsible for mucosal damage. In our study of 174 patients, we evaluated the sites where quid was habitually placed and the areas of salivary pooling, and their association with the incidence of OSMF. Most chewers (136/174, 78%) placed the quid in the buccal vestibule, although other sites were also used including the vestibule of the lip, tongue, and floor of the mouth. The standardised residuals suggested significant associations (p<0.001) between salivary pooling and OSMF, and indicated that salivary pooling affects the mucosal surfaces where it occurs. Our results show that the quid is not the only cause of OSMF. Salivary pooling also has an important role and provides a possible mechanism for the sporadic incidence of the condition. To our knowledge this is the first study to evaluate salivary pooling as a contributory factor in OSMF, and it may help to explain the pattern of distribution. Further work is needed in this area to understand the association more fully.

Concepts: Mucous membrane, Oral mucosa, The Association, Metaphysics, Lip, Submucosa, Mastication, Chewing tobacco


As clinicians, we sometimes fail to look after ourselves properly and do not regularly eat healthy foods or drink enough. Sleep is another factor that we often neglect. A lack of it can compromise our personal health and performance at work, and the “sleep debt” that results when this is chronic can take far longer to recover from than one might think. Now that junior doctors work more shift rotas and senior colleagues have onerous on-call responsibilities, we all need to be aware of the effects of sleep deprivation, which can lower the mood and motivation, weaken leadership, and result in more clinical errors. In this review we consider what might constitute enough sleep, the consequences of inadequate sleep, and how these might be addressed for surgeons.


The aim of this study was to find out if juxta-apical radiolucency (JAR) is a reliable risk factor for injury to the inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) during removal of lower third molars. We designed a cohort study of patients whose dental panoramic tomograms (DPT) had shown JAR before complete removal of lower wisdom teeth. The outcome variable was postoperative permanent neurosensory disturbance of the IAN. A total of 39 patients (50 lower third molars) were identified and screened for permanent neurosensory disturbance. None reported any permanently altered sensation 18 months after the operation. Based on our group, the presence of JAR does not seem to be a reliable predictor of the risk of permanent injury to the IAN during removal of lower third molars.


The aim of this randomised controlled trial was to compare the costs and benefits of computer-based 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional predictions in orthognathic surgery. Subjects aged 18-30 years with severe class III malocclusion had their treatment planned with both 2- and 3-dimensional techniques. They were randomised in a 1:1 ratio for one or other planning technique. Costs (financial, time, and dose of radiation) were compared with benefits (accuracy and health-related quality of life (HRQoL)). In total, 57 subjects (27 women and 30 men, mean (range) age 21 (18-28) years) completed the study. Comparisons showed no significant difference in total time spent, but a large advantage for the 2-dimensional technique in financial costs (p < 0.001); it also required a significantly lower dose of radiation (p < 0.001). The cost-effectiveness analysis showed a reduction in time of 0.53 minutes/HRQoL-point gained, and an increased economic cost of US$15/HRQoL point gained for the 3-dimensional technique. It also showed that the two techniques consumed an equal amount of time, but that the 2-dimensional technique had lower financial costs, and the 3-dimensional technique a larger dose of radiation.