This special issue will review the many unanswered questions regarding oral and maxillofacial infections. Questions include: Should we extract teeth in the presence of infection? Should we wait for development of an abscess before we perform incision and drainage? What are the antibiotics of choice for odontogenic infections, and how long should the treatment course last? Is clindamycin losing its effectiveness in odontogenic infections? Should we use prophylactic antibiotics for removal of erupted teeth, impacted teeth, dental implants, or other dentoalveolar surgery? How can we as dentists minimize our contribution to the problem of antibiotic resistance? How will culture and antibiotic sensitivity testing be done in the foreseeable future? How can osteomyelitis of the jaws be diagnosed at the earliest possible time? How should the practicing oral and maxillofacial surgeon manage cases of odontogenic deep neck infections that extend beyond his/her area of expertise? Do dental infections really cause central nervous system infections? What are the lessons we can glean from review of recent closed malpractice cases involving oral and maxillofacial infections? How do we manage oral infections in the severely immunocompromised host, such as in chemotherapy for blood cancers or in bone marrow transplant patients? What is the role of biofilms in severe head and neck infections? How strong is the evidence supporting oral inflammation as a cause of systemic disease?
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