Failure to Recognize and Treat Periodontal Disease

$295,378 Net Verdict

The plaintiff was a patient of the defendant dentist’s dental group for many years, starting in 1999. The plaintiff claimed that she began to show evidence of periodontal disease in 2005, which progressed over the next four years. Of the fourteen visits during that four years, eleven were with the defendant dentist.

When the plaintiff was seen by the defendant dentist in August 2009, the plaintiff had pimples on her gums and she was referred to a periodontist. The plaintiff required extraction of fourteen teeth. The plaintiff underwent placement of implants and required more implants at the time of trial. The plaintiff alleged negligence in the failure to timely diagnose her gum disease.

The defendant had claimed that the plaintiff had been prescribed an antibiotic in both 2008 and 2009 and her condition had improved. The defendant maintained that when the plaintiff’s condition again became problematic, a prompt referral was made. The defendant also maintained that the plaintiff’s drug and alcohol abuse contributed to her condition and that she had a good outcome with her treatment.

A jury found negligence by the defendant dentist and hygienists of the group, assessing fault sixty-five percent to the defendant dentist, twenty-five percent to the hygienists and ten percent to the plaintiff.

The verdict totaled $328,199. The net verdict was $295,378.

With permission from Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts; Lewis Laska, Editor, 901 Church St., Nashville, TN 37203-3411, 1-800-298-6288.