• Routine dental procedure leaves Virginia man with life-threatening infection

    By: Ann Smajstrla, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    WOODBRIDGE, Va. - A Virginia man is warning others after a routine dental procedure left him with an infection that’s taken years to heal.

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    Matt Brock, of Woodbridge, went two years ago to get a crown replaced on a dental implant, he told WUSA-TV. Brock said he’s no stranger to dental work and thought the procedure would be routine. But once it was over, he realized something wasn’t quite right.


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    "It was the most painful thing I've ever been through in my life," he said.

    From there, Brock’s symptoms became worse. He had trouble breathing and would become winded after walking up a flight of stairs. Brock was in and out of doctors’ offices for two years. Finally, Dr. Ammar Bafi, a cardiac surgeon at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, diagnosed him with a condition known as “endocarditis.” His heart had become infected after bacteria had seeped into his bloodstream.

    Brock was surprised to learn the condition likely started with the crown replacement. Endocarditis affects about 200,000 people in the U.S. every year, Bafi said. It can be caused by a skin injury or wisdom tooth removal.

    “If we don’t treat this, people die just of heart failure,” Bafi said.

    Now, Brock is trying to raise awareness of the condition.

    "It was simple, you know, I'm just going to the dentist, I didn't think about it. We need to think about these things and we need to pay attention," Brock said.


     

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