Poor Results Alleged from Denture Placement and Tooth Extraction at Student Dental Clinic

The patient, a man in his sixties, had chronic and significant problems with his teeth. The defendant dentists, in conjunction with dental students, treated the patient throughout his care at a student dental clinic. The patient’s dental team came up with a plan to extract all of his lower teeth and install dentures. This was allegedly the best option to restore his bite and the only option available within the student dental clinic. He was also counseled about other dental treatment options that may be available to him outside of the dental clinic. The patient declined to seek care elsewhere. The patient agreed with the extractions and the procedure went forward. 

After the course of treatment was completed, the patient alleged that his dentures rubbed his mouth in a painful way and he could not regularly wear them. He also complained of TMJ symptoms. He subsequently underwent revision work to replace the dentures, but all his lower teeth were gone, which limited his treatment options. 

The patient alleged error by the defendant dentists in instituting his treatment plan. Plaintiff’s counsel for the patient contended that the treatment choice was not a good one for a patient because of his age with his co-morbidities, which included dry mouth. 

The defendant dentists maintained that their treatment was reasonable. 

The jury returned a defense verdict in favor of the defendant dentists.
With permission from Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts; Lewis Laska, Editor, 901 Church St., Nashville, TN 37203-3411, 1-800-298-6288.