Odontogenic infections represented a challenge for every craniomaxillofacial surgeon in the pre-antibiotic era, not least due to the frequent association with septic complications and lethal consequences. Nowadays, the incidences of serious infection-related complications are less frequent thanks to the medical progress. Nevertheless, the development of severe infections is still hard to foresee.
The following analysis provides an overview of four patients with severe, life-threatening odontogenic deep neck space infections treated at the University Clinic for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Innsbruck and describes the etiology, therapy, and outcome for each patient while analyzing differences between the single cases. Crucial aspects in origin, progression, and treatment of DNIs are highlighted, comparing the results with the international literature.