The plaintiff; a twenty-nine year old Internal Revenue Service secretary went to a dentist for an examination and was told she needed her four wisdom teeth removed and a root canal and crown on a lower molar tooth. The plaintiff went to defendant teaching-hospital’s Oral Surgery Out-Patient Clinic to have the wisdom teeth removed under general anesthesia. She specifically instructed the dentist to remove only the lower wisdom teeth, insisting on having the upper wisdom teeth removed at another time. The consent form which she signed, specifically referred only to the lower two wisdom teeth. While she was under general anesthesia, the oral surgery resident extracted the two lower wisdom teeth and the two upper wisdom teeth and the tooth which was going to get a root canal and crown. The hospital’s position was that there was no damage as a result of the extraction of the upper wisdom teeth and that the lower molar was too hopelessly decayed for a root canal and crown to salvage the tooth.
The case was settled prior to filing for $20,000. Kenneth P. Liroff, D.D.S., J.D., of THE DENTALAW GROUP, Ft. Lauderdale, FL represented the plaintiff.