Maxillofacial Surgery Expert Opines on Botched Molar Extraction


Oral Surgery Expert WitnessThis case involves a female patient who was seen by a periodontist for removal of a molar. The molar was etracted over the course of hours, and was noted to be a difficult extraction. After the extraction, she saw another doctor as an emergency patient with complaints of severe pain in the area of the extracted tooth. Doctors noted that the area around the empty socket was severely inflamed, and that the patient noted extreme pain when the socket was probed. The patient was diagnosed with dry socket, and it was also noted that a section of bone had been exposed. Some time later, the patient again presented to the hospital with extreme pain. During this visit, it was noted that the patient had developed an abscess in the empty socket. Despite numerous treatments since then, the patient continued to suffer from pain, limiting her diet severely.

 

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Do you routinely treat patients like the one described above?

Expert Witness Response E-048170

I routinely treat patients with complications post wisdom tooth extraction, including muscle spasm, myalgia, TMJ arthralgia, lingual mucosal dehiscence, but rarely would you see a patient with all of the symptoms/findings occurring at the same time. It would seem from the brief history given, and without thoroughly reviewing the case, that an extremely difficult extraction, was attempted, and given the time frame for removal, was either unusually complicated, or the Doctor’s skill set was not sufficient for the procedure. Being in active practice as an OMS for 20+ years, and after removing a considerable number of extremely difficult molars, I can tell you that even the most difficult of surgeries is typically less than 30-40 minutes for one tooth, so the time frame alone is enough to indicate a procedure that was either exceptionally complicated inherently, or became exceptionally complicated due to the lack of expertise on the part of the treating Doctor.

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