Type of Case: Dental Malpractice. Alleged negligent placement of dental implants into her sinuses resulting in sinus pain, swelling and infection.
Venue: New York Supreme Court, New York County
Background Facts: In this dental malpractice action, plaintiff claimed lack of informed consent, negligent placement of dental implants and failure to take a preoperative CT scan and postoperative x-rays. Plaintiff claimed the implants caused her pain, swelling, infection and anguish. She alleged the dentist failed to explain the procedure’s risks and benefits and did not discuss the alternatives and thus failed to obtain her informed consent. She also asserted she could not read the Consent form without her glasses.
Special Problems: CT scans confirmed two implants had passed the bony floor of the sinus. There was a “he said/she said” battle on informed consent.
Our Strategy: We argued that a preoperative CT scan was unnecessary since a panorex x-ray accurately demonstrated positioning of the bone level for placement of the dental implants. We further contended that the implants were properly placed since stabilization was achieved and they had not pierced the Schneiderian membrane. Moreover, we asserted that implants protruding into the sinus was an accepted complication of the procedure. We negated plaintiff’s claim of the need for glasses to read the consent form by subpoenaing her eye doctor’s records showing 20/20 vision. Finally, we argued that postoperative x-rays were taken during the next visit, and it would have made no difference if they were taken any earlier, since plaintiff declined removal.