The number of children hospitalized following one confirmed case of a bacterial infection stemming from an Anaheim dental clinic has risen to 14, an Orange County Healthcare Agency official said today.
One child has been confirmed with contracting a “mycobacterial” dental infection following treatment at the Children’s Dental Group of Anaheim.
Thirteen were considered “probable” cases of infection and were admitted to Children’s Hospital of Orange County, according to Jessica Good, a spokeswoman for the agency. The children range in age from 3 to 9, Good said.
They all received a “pulpotomy procedure” at the dentist from April 6 through July 29, Good said.
Last week, county officials ordered Children’s Dental Group of Anaheim to stop using any of the facility’s on-site water for any dental procedures. The Health Care Agency’s laboratory tests confirmed that five samples taken from the dentist’s office have “tested positive for mycobaterium,” Good said.
Dr. Eric Handler, the county’s public health officer, has ordered a “complete replacement of the on-site water system.”
About 500 children at the Children’s Dental Group received a “pulpotomy procedure,” which is done when infected pulp tissue of a tooth is treated or removed to prevent the loss of the tooth, Good said.
“The infection causes localized dental abscess, but may infect nearby bone,” Good said.
Patients are generally treated with an intravenous feed of antibiotics on site, Good said. Mycobacteria is common and usually pose “minimal risk,” Good said.
“In rare instances, water sources within a facility can become contaminated with higher levels of bacteria, increasing risk to patients receiving pulpotomies or other invasive procedures,” Good said.
“There is no increases risk of infection to patients receiving routine, non-invasive procedures or to the general public.”
Children’s Dental Group is “cooperating fully” with the agency’s investigation, Good said. The dental group also has stopped performing the procedure.
The California Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Dental Board of California are also involved in the review of the infections, Good said.