Orofacial management for epidermolysis bullosa during wisdom tooth removal surgery: A technical note

H Delebarre, C Chiaverini, C Vandersteen, C Savoldelli
Journal of Stomatology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 2019 March 22

INTRODUCTION: Epidermolysis bullosa (EB) is a heterogeneous group of genetic diseases characterized by cutaneous and/or mucosal fragility. Blisters can occur spontaneously or because of minor friction on facial skin or the oral cavity. The repercussions of these dermatoses complicate the management of patients during surgery; for example, wisdom teeth removal might be complicated because of the limited mouth opening and mucosal lesions may be aggravated when the area of the wisdom teeth is being explored. Here, we describe the orofacial surgical management procedure for the extraction of the wisdom teeth of a patient with microstomia complicated by dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB) with high risk of mucosal lesion aggravation.

TECHNIQUE: A 25-year-old woman with recessive DEB sought extraction of four wisdom teeth because of inclusion, recurrent pain, and dental caries. Anaesthesia was supported with conventional sequence induction and fibre-optic device-assisted nasotracheal intubation. A paediatric cuffed endotracheal tube and a fiberscope were lubricated before use in order to reduce friction against the naso-oropharyngeal mucosa. Hydrocellular foam dressing was applied on the face with soft adhesive silicone to avoid cutaneous wounds. No pressure was exerted on the patient's body during surgery. Surgical retractors were covered with hydrocellular foam dressing with silicone, and the labial commissures were protected with petroleum jelly. The dental extractions were performed with caution.

DISCUSSION: Intraoral blistering in EB and scarring may result in microstomia and obliteration sulci, which can lead to difficulties in navigating the oral cavity. Consensus on a reasonable treatment protocol is lacking because no large cohort study exists. Lack of preparation of the facial skin and surgical instruments can lead to aggravation of lesions, especially when reaching for the third molars. A standardized procedure with general anaesthesia might pose fewer difficulties during the operation and limit facial and oral lesion aggravation. Prophylactic extraction of the third molar in younger patients with EB should be considered to avoid complications.

CONCLUSION: Atraumatic anaesthesia procedures and specific surgical care for these patients can be provided by using a protocol that protects the skin and mucous membranes from traumas.

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