7 OC Children Hospitalized With Serious Infections Following Routine Dental Procedure

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An investigation is underway by the  Orange County Health Care Agency after several children were hospitalized with serious bacterial infections following a common dental procedure.

Several children were hospitalized for infections following a routine dental procedure at Children's Dental Group in Anaheim. (Credit: KTLA)
Several children were hospitalized for infections following a routine dental procedure at Children’s Dental Group in Anaheim. (Credit: KTLA)

The children were seen at Children’s Dental Group of Anaheim, located at 2156 E. Lincoln Ave.,  between May 3 and Aug. 2 for pulpotomies, or “baby root canals,” and later developed serious  bacterial infections. County health officials said eight children have been reported to have slowly progressive oral cellulitis, a bacterial infection of the mouth that can spread to the gum and bone.

Seven children have been hospitalized at Children’s Hospital Orange County, and officials were working to contact the parents of 500 more children who were also seen at the Anaheim dental clinic.

“The number of patients affected has been a very small percentage of those who have received pulpotomy treatment at our Anaheim office,” Samuel Gruenbaum, the dental group’s CEO, said in a released statement. “Our thoughts, as well as our actions, are devoted to the health of our patients as we work through this situation.”

The dental group stopped doing the procedure last week, the Orange County Health Care Agency reported, but the source of the infection was not yet confirmed.

Dental staff was reaching out to all parents of the children who had the procedure done and offering x-rays and examinations to check for infection.

Symptoms to watch for are tooth pain or swelling, and tenderness of the gum, neck, or jaw.

Treatment for the infection includes intravenous antibiotics, or may require surgery, officials said.

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