Routine Dental Extractions Routinely Produce Cavitations

Journal of Advancement in Medicine
Volume 9, Number 4
Winter 1996

TITLE: Routine Dental Extractions Routinely Produce Cavitations
Thomas E. Levy, MD, FACC, and Hal A. Huggins, DDS, MS

ABSTRACT: Cavitations (Cvs) are persistent holes found at the extraction sites of permanent teeth after apparent healing has taken place. Current dental literature considers this common phenomenon to be rare. In the scientific literature, Cvs have a plethora of synonyms. They have been variably labeled as Ratner, Roberts, or trigger point bone cavities, interference fields, neuralgia-inducing cavitational osteonecrosis (NICO), and alveolar cavitational osteopathosis. Evidence suggests that the incidence of Cvs is presently grossly underestimated. Therefore, we reviewed the charts of 112 randomly chosen patients treated at the Huggins Diagnostic Center (HDC) from 1991 through 1995 to determine the incidence of Cvs in old extraction sites. We believe this problem to be important to the general health of patients who are being treated for a wide range of diseases where such a dental condition may be the ultimate cause or a significant contributing factor. This manuscript is clearly one written for dental surgeons. It describes, however, a little known phenomenon that is extremely important in the general ill health of many patients with a number of different diseases that are not usually associated with dental problems. Since there is more and more need for health professionals to collaborate in their disciplines, the work reported here should be valuable to physicians.