A Maine island town is in mourning, after an 18-year-old boy died three days after getting his wisdom teeth removed. Benjamin Edward LaMontagne died in his mother's arms on Saturday, the Portland Press Herald reports. An autopsy Wednesday was unable to determine a cause of death, but his parents believe it was related to the routine dental surgery performed last Wednesday. LaMontagne's pain and swelling following the surgery had intensified rather than eased.
LaMontagne was an avid bass clarinet player who collected rare sheet music from Europe, and enjoyed trapping lobsters, knitting, and contemplative tea sessions. "If anybody could say they had a complete life after 18 short years, it was Benjamin," his father says, "which makes it all the more painful." Only about two to three out of every 100,000 wisdom teeth removals result in serious complications, and deaths are unheard of, one oral surgeon says. "The frequency of death is so low that it can't be accurately estimated." Additional tests will be done in an effort to determine the cause of death.