Irish Journal of Medical Science (1971 -)

, Volume 188, Issue 1, pp 327–331 | Cite as

The surgical management of severe dentofacial infections (DFI)—a prospective study

  • Conor M. BoweEmail author
  • Maeve A. O’Neill
  • John E. O’Connell
  • Gerard J. Kearns
Original Article


Dentofacial infections (DFI) lead to morbidity and rarely, mortality. We hypothesised that certain clinical and laboratory parameter factors may be associated with a more severe course and an increased length of stay. We designed a prospective study that included all patients admitted with a DFI to the Oral and Maxillofacial Department between July 2014 and July 2015. A total of 125 were enrolled. We found that serum concentration of CRP on admission and increasing number of fascial spaces involved by the infection were significant predictors of hospital stay (p = 0.02 and p = 0.01, respectively). The average length of stay for a dentofacial infection requiring admission was 4.5 days. Most patients require surgical intervention in combination with intravenous antibiotics for successful resolution. Improved and timely access to primary dental care is likely to reduce the burden for patients their families and the acute hospital service as a consequence of advanced DFI.


Abscess C-reactive protein Fascial space Infection Odontogenic 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Conor M. Bowe
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Maeve A. O’Neill
    • 1
  • John E. O’Connell
    • 1
  • Gerard J. Kearns
    • 1
  1. 1.National Oral and Maxillofacial UnitSt. James HospitalDublin 8Ireland
  2. 2.Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery DepartmentSt. James HospitalDublin 8Ireland

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