Baltimore Tooth Extraction Nerve Injury Lawsuit

Endzel v. Baltimore Uptown Dentist

Lingual NerveThis dental malpractice claim was filed in Baltimore City after a woman's lingual nerve was damaged during a tooth extraction. It was filed in Health Claims Arbitration on March 19, 2018, and it is the 133rd medical malpractice case filed in Maryland this year. This is the second dental malpractice lawsuit in March, both filed on the very same day and both involve a tooth extraction.

Summary of Plaintiff's Allegations

A woman presented to her dentist for a procedure to extract all four of her third molars. The dentist removed the two upper molars but aborted the procedure before the bottom molars could be removed. After creating an incision and flap around the bottom right molar, the dentist closed the incision and ended the procedure without extracting the tooth. Oral sedation was used throughout the procedure.

Three days later, the woman called the dentist's office with complaints of significant pain. The woman presented to the dentist the next day, reporting that she was still having pain and could not feel her teeth on the bottom left or right. The dentist suggested that her symptoms were caused by the anesthetic and would fade away after a week. The woman was prescribed Ultram for the pain, but no additional post-operative care was given.

The woman's pain, loss of feeling, and loss of taste persisted and worsened. To date, she still suffers permanent pain, numbness, discomfort, and disfigurement.

Additional Comments
  • The claimant's expert witness, a dental surgeon, believes that the defendant dentist damaged the claimant's lingual nerve while creating the incision at the bottom right third molar. The defendant dentist may have retracted tissue in such a way that the lingual nerve was injured, or cut the tongue.
  • Additionally, the defendant dentist used nineteen units of anesthetic for a procedure that only required seven or eight. The anesthesia overdose put the claimant at an increased risk for paresthesia and likely caused the loss of sensation in her tongue.
  • When a patient complains of significant pain and numbness following oral surgery, dentists should suspect a nerve injury and act accordingly. If the claimant had received prescriptions for vitamins and anti-inflammatory medication, underwent oral nerve mapping, and had a follow-up appointment with an appropriate specialist, her pain and numbness could have been temporary.
  • Many dental malpractice cases involve injury to the lingual nerve.
Jurisdiction
  • Baltimore City
Defendants
  • A dental practice
  • Baltimore Uptown Dentist
  • A dentist
Negligence
  • Failing to conduct appropriate and careful examinations.
  • Failing to properly create an incision at the bottom right molar.
  • Failing to protect the lingual nerve and tongue.
  • Failing to administer an appropriate amount of local anesthetic.
  • Failing to recognize the injury to the claimant's lingual nerve.
  • Failing to timely recognize and treat the claimant's serious medical condition.
  • Failing to provide appropriate post-operative care.
Specific Counts Pled
  • As a direct result of the defendants' negligence, the claimant sustained serious, painful, and permanent injuries, resulting in pain and suffering, emotional distress, medical expenses, and lost wages.
Plaintiff's Experts and Areas of Specialty
  • Kevin G. Schwartz, D.M.D., oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Dr. Schwartz practices in Rockville. Plaintiff is fortunate that a Maryland dentist will testify for her.
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