The plaintiff/patient, in his late sixties, underwent oral surgery in August 2005. This included installation of three dental implants into his left lower jaw. The surgery was performed by the defendant periodontist. Soon after the surgery, the defendant periodontist determined that two of the implants had not properly integrated into the patient’s jaw bone, which prompted him to remove the implants in September and December of 2005.
After the jaw healed and more testing was done, the patient underwent reinsertion of the implants, performed by the defendant periodontist in November 2006. During the second surgery, the defendant periodontist reportedly utilized a dental-surgery system which used a surgical stent to guide the placement of the implants into the jaw bone. During the procedure, one of the implants became stuck, and efforts to remove the implant were unsuccessful. The patient was then immediately sent to an oral surgeon, who ultimately removed the implant. The patient later had a partial removable denture which the patient did not like and did not wear. Several years later the patient had implants successfully placed.
The patient claimed that the second surgery had been improperly performed. The patient sued the defendant periodontist, the group where the treatment had been given, and the owner of the group. Only the defendant periodontist was a defendant at the time of trial. The patient claimed that the defendant periodontist had over-torqued the implant during the November 2006 procedure and had failed to recognize that the patient’s jaw bone was highly dense and not amenable to placement of implants.
The defendant claimed that the patient had experienced known complications of the surgery and that implants regularly fail. The defendant maintained that the surgery had been properly performed. The defendant also maintained that the patient’s expert was a general dentist who had not inserted implants.
According to reports, a defense verdict was returned.
With permission from Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts; Lewis Laska, Editor, 901 Church St., Nashville, TN 37203-3411, 1-800-298-6288.