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Duration, prevalence and intensity of bacteraemia after dental extractions in children
  1. G J Roberts1,
  2. E C Jaffray2,
  3. D A Spratt2,
  4. A Petrie2,
  5. C Greville3,
  6. M Wilson2,
  7. V S Lucas1
  1. 1King’s College London Dental Institute, London, UK
  2. 2Eastman Dental Institute, London, UK
  3. 3University College London Hospitals, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Victoria Lucas
    Department of Dental Paediatrics, Division of Restorative Dentistry, King’s College London Dental Institute at King’s College Dental Hospital, London SE5 9RS, UK; victoria.s.lucas{at}


Objective: To investigate the duration, prevalence and intensity of bacteraemia after dental extractions in children by comparing within-patient bacteraemia before and after dental extraction.

Methods: Children were randomly allocated to one of 10 postprocedure time groups from 10 s to 60 min. The differences between intensity and prevalence of the bacteraemia at each time after extractions were used to estimate the duration of the bacteraemia. After attainment of general anaesthesia, pre-extraction and postextraction blood samples were processed by broth culture and lysis filtration to isolate and quantify bacteria present in the patients’ blood.

Results: 500 subjects between 3 and 16 years old were recruited. The estimated duration of bacteraemia was about 11 min.

Conclusions: The duration of bacteraemia after dental extractions is less than previously thought. This has implications for the interpretation of odontogenic bacteraemia studies.

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  • This project was funded in its entirety by the British Heart Foundation, Project Grant PG/1998042

  • Competing interests: None declared.