Pediatric dental infections contracted at an Anaheim clinic increased to 22 on Tuesday, as Children’s Dental Group said most of the 500 children who underwent root canals there have been examined for signs of illness.
The Orange County Health Care Agency said among the 22 patients, ages 3 to 9, six remain hospitalized. The children all underwent baby tooth root canals, or pulpotomies, at the East Lincoln Avenue office between April 6 and July 28, the agency said.
On Tuesday, Sam Gruenbaum, CEO of the company that owns the clinic, said the parents of all patients who underwent the procedure since April 1 have been contacted by phone and letter about the outbreak.
“We’ve asked all of them to come in for an examination as a precautionary matter, even if they didn’t have any symptoms or problems, and the majority have already been in for their exams,” Gruenbaum said in a written response to questions. “We’ve also posted a bulletin on our website, and we plan to continue our outreach by phone and mail until we’ve done everything we can to make sure everyone is taken care of.”
Three children have tested positive for mycobacterial infection and the 19 others are considered probable.
Andrea Hanigan, a spokeswoman for Children’s Hospital of Orange County, said the hospital has evaluated 38 children for potential infection.
Testing of the clinic’s water system, which hasbeen shut down, found mycobacterium, which can contaminate a water supply when found in large numbers or is a particularly virulent strain.
To learn more about the outbreak, the county’s Health Care Agency has information for parents in English and Spanish atochealthinfo.com/dentaloutbreak.