A male patient lost all his teeth after a root canal, causing him to sue his surgeon for inducing over-extrusion during the procedure. The surgeon had attempted to inject the patient with sodium hypochlorite but, while attempting to become accustomed to the needle length, injected the solution far past the apex of the tooth. The consequences were immediate: the patient sustained permanent nerve damage, and had to have every single one of his teeth removed. The malpractice trial between the patient and surgeon required an expert with experience in endodontic surgery to opine applicable standards of care and causation.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Do you routinely perform root canals?
- 2. Have you ever had a patient develop similar complications?
Expert Witness Response E-006671
The use of sodium hypochlorite is associated with risks and requires very cautious utilization It certainly could be the cause of the nerve injury and although possible would be an extremely unusual cause of the loss of the teeth. I would need much more information to opine on that issue.
Expert Witness Response E-059781
I have performed over 1,000 root canals in the past 15 years, and I presented a technique on root canals at the American Association of Endodontists National Convention three years ago. I have never had a patient experience similar complications to the one described, although I have seen similar cases occur.