A problematic tooth extraction injury is not what most people expect in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Although these cases are relatively rare, they can result in permanent damage to the patient. Sometimes, the injury results from a mistake made by the oral surgeon or dentist during a procedure. In one case, performing the procedure at all might have been ill advised.
A 32-year-old male was advised by his general dentist on three different occasions to see an oral surgeon. The primary issue was an impacted first molar. The removal of the remaining wisdom teeth was a secondary goal of the oral surgery. At the time the plaintiff was seen by the oral surgeon, he was not symptomatic. Further, the surgery was typically performed when patients are much younger. Another contraindication in this case was the immediate proximity of the root of the first molar to the inferior alveolar nerve.
While attempting to remove the roots of the first molar, the oral surgeon caused a tear injury to the inferior alveolar nerve. The tear proved traumatic and caused permanent damage to the nerve.
Effects of the Tooth Extraction Injury
The long-term effect of the nerve tear is that the plaintiff suffers from traumatic trigeminal neuropathy with significant allodynia. (“Allodynia is an unusual symptom that can result from several nerve-related conditions. When you’re experiencing it, you feel pain from stimuli that don’t normally cause pain. For example, lightly touching your skin or brushing your hair might feel painful.” [healthline.com]). The plaintiff takes 23 pills every day to reduce the pain modestly (from 10/10 to 7/10).
Plaintiff’s records indicate a series of treatments that were ineffective in curing the injury. These included neurorrhaphy, attempted nerve implant stimulator, and brain surgery.
Plaintiff’s past medical costs were approximately $309,000. Projected future medical costs were $1.2 million. The wisdom of undertaking this surgical procedure is questionable. The harm suffered by the plaintiff is significant.
The jury deliberated for two days and returned a verdict for the plaintiff and an award of $1,879,721,00.
If you or a loved one has been injured or harmed due to an ill-advised medical or dental procedure due to negligence or wrongdoing on the part of the medical provider, you may have a right to demand financial compensation for your hurts and harms. In some cases, the harm cannot be reversed and the pain of the injury will continue. If a medical or dental malpractice injury results from a procedure and through no fault of your own, call Altizer Law P.C. Bettina Altizer and her team of experienced professionals will work with you to assess the case and help you in your recovery. If you hire us, Bettina will fight for the maximum just and fair compensation for your injuries.