Plaintiff was a 60ish homemaker who was referred to the defendant endodontist because of continued sensitivity following crown placement on a lower premolar tooth. A conventional root canal procedure was performed and the patient continued to complain of sensitivity. Within six weeks following the root canal, the endodontist told the plaintiff that she had to “scrape [her] roots” and performed an apicoectomy. The endodontist usually used a written consent form which advised patients of the risk of nerve injury but inexplicably never gave that form to the patient. The patient’s inferior alveolar nerve was surgically traumatized near the mental foramen and the patient is left with a permanently painful, burning numbness of her lower lip and skin overlying her chin to the midline.
The case settled on the Saturday before a Monday trial. Broward County, Florida, Circuit Court Case No. 95-11593 (18). Kenneth P. Liroff, D.D.S., J.D., of The Dental Law Group, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, for the plaintiff; Mark C. Burton, Esq., Ft. Lauderdale, FL, for the defendant.