Objective: Odontogenic infection is a common condition in America; the aim of this research was to determine the profile of odontogenic maxillofacial infections and to identify the link between these and the pain felt by patients admitted to the emergency dental service of the Hernán Henríquez Aravena Hospital in Temuco, Chile.
Methods: A cross-sectional, double-blind study analysed 49 individuals admitted for emergency dental care. Included were admissions associated with odontogenic infection identified by clinical examination, establishing a relation to pain through a survey. The diagnosis was made clinically using the fascial spaces involved in the infection, presence of self-medication prior to admission, need for surgical treatment and the patient’s systemic conditions. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics, Chi-squared, ANOVA, considering a value of p < 0.05 as significant.
Results: The average pain level measured by visual analogue scale (VAS) in emergency admission was 8.1. There was no association between the diagnosis (pulp infection, periodontal infection or pericoronitis) and the VAS (p = 0.078), but there was association between age and the diagnosis (p = 0.022), and the VAS was associated with pain compared to other types of pathologies or traumas (p = 0.011).
Conclusion: Odontogenic infection is frequent and linked to age and high-pain values. New public policies should be adopted based on these results. New studies are needed to assess new variables associated with these pathologies.