Dental malpractice – Extraction, Nerve injury

Dennis Vandenberg successfully defended a local general dentist in a claimed inferior alveolar nerve injury following the extraction of tooth #30.  The patient, a 60 year old female was treated for implants at #29 and #30 with extraction of #30.   After the extraction and trephination of the two roots, the practitioner determined that a graft was necessary and a delay in placement of implant was appropriate.  

There was an immediate onset of numbness which gradually receded over approximately six to eight weeks, but replaced with a painful sensation and sensitivity.  The Plaintiff contended that she was entitled to an additional informed consent discussion when the extraction became more complicated, and that either the grafting material or by instrumentation that the inferior alveolar nerve was injured.  

The defense was able to establish that Plaintiff’s claim injuries were inconsistent and exaggerated.   In addition, through radiographic documentation it was established that there was never a superior aspect to the mandibular bony canal.   The injury was the result of transient fluid pressure.

The jury took two hours to deliberate, reaching a defense verdict.   Post trial motions have been waived.