In a follow-up to a report last week concerning infections in children that received dental procedures at the Children’s Dental Clinic of Anaheim, health officials released new numbers today which show the case tally of  Mycobacterium infections (apparent Mycobacterium abscessus) have risen to 22 (3 confirmed, 19 probable).


The children received a pulpotomy, a dental procedure during which the infected pulp tissue of a tooth is treated/removed.

All 22 have been hospitalized at some point and 6 of the 22 are currently in the hospital. The age range is 3 to 9 for all cases.

The children have presented with slowly progressive oral cellulitis consistent with M. abscessus infection.

Initial testing indicates that the facility’s on-site water system was the apparent source of infection. This water system is no longer being used for patient care and the facility is no longer performing pulpotomies. No suspect infections have been identified in other area dental practices, including other Children’s Dental Group locations.

Mycobacterium abscessus is a nontuberculous mycobacterium that causes slowly progressing infection of soft tissue or bone. Severe systemic symptoms such as sepsis are unusual. Successful treatment generally involves some combination of debridement of infected tissue and use of combination antibiotic therapy for a prolonged period.