The plaintiff/patient, a fifty-year-old woman, was a patient of the defendant dentist. In January 2013, the patient presented to the defendant dentist with tooth pain. The defendant dentist determined that the patient needed a root canal. The tooth involved had a crown and bridgework which the defendant dentist tried unsuccessfully to remove.
The defendant dentist subsequently drilled down through the crown. The patient claimed that the defendant dentist never got to the pulpal canal but rather perforated and came out the side of the tooth.
The defendant dentist then administered sodium hypochlorite (a disinfectant), then calcium hydroxide, both of which, the patient alleged, went into her tissue. The defendant dentist then made an incision that, the patient claimed, went into the gums and severed her mental nerve, causing permanent numbness (complete anesthesia) to the left side of her chin, lower left lip, and lower left side of her mouth. The patient brought suit for the injuries claimed, demanding $200,000.
The defendant dentist denied negligence, claiming that he did not sever the nerve; he also claimed the progression of the procedure was a known complication. Finally, the defendant dentist claimed that complete anesthesia was never documented.
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.