Plaintiff, who was a 39 year old geriatric attendant, sued defendant general dentist who made nine single crowns and a three-unit fixed bridge during a thirteen month course of treatment, and alleged that the bridge and crowns were overcontoured and extending too far under her gums and therefore caused her periodontal disease. She also alleged that her bite had been changed sufficiently to have caused her to suffer injury to her temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
As a result of the dentist’s negligence, the patient had to undergo periodontal surgery, root canal therapy and splint therapy for the TMJ. The bridge and nine crowns required replacement and three additional crowns were placed. The defendant dentist claimed that the patient was non-compliant and frequently broke appointments and failed to follow treatment recommendations of her other treating dentists.
A California jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff, awarding her $57,477. Plaintiff’s experts were Galen Wagnild, D.D.S., San Francisco, CA (prosthodontics); Scott Milliken, D.D.S., Burlingame, CA (periodontics); Barry Staley, D.D.S., Aptos, CA (prosthodontics); Alton Lacy, D.D.S., San Francisco, CA (general dentistry). Defendants experts were: Warden Noble, D.D.S., San Francisco, CA (prosthodontics); Joseph Krajewski, D.D.S., San Francisco, CA (periodontics). Monterey County (CA) Superior Court, Case No. 92283.
Edwin J. Zinman, D.D.S., J.D., of Dental Law Group, San Francisco, CA represented the plaintiff. David G. Brown, Esq., and Kathleen Murphy, Esq., San Diego, CA represented the defendant.