The plaintiff; a young attorney, suffered from congenital anodontia (born without many deciduous teeth and permanent tooth buds) and had undergone very sophisticated crown and bridge reconstruction and implants during his life. During a root canal performed by the endodontist-defendant, a fissure or crevice in the pulp chamber floor was noted by the defendant who claimed that it was not a perforation and that he did not cause it but that he did detect it. The defendant completed the root canal in the usual and ordinary fashion, including the cleansing of the chamber and canals with formocreosol. Formocreosol is a highly toxic formalin-containing medication customarily used during root canal procedures. Plaintiff’s position was that an unusual extraordinary situation was treated in accordance with the standard of care for an ordinary and usual case. Thus, the plaintiff contended that the “fissure” or perforation should never have been exposed to formocresosol which caused a very painful inflammatory reaction in the bone between the tooth roots and resulted in the extraction of the tooth. Since the tooth was a critical abutment for a 14-unit mandibular bridge which was supported by implants, the bridge eventually failed. Plaintiff required replacement of the implants and lower bridge. Defendant contended that his treatment was appropriate and that the implants and bridgework were loose and were destined to imminently fail.
The case was settled prior to trial for $50,000. Kenneth P. Liroff, D.D.S., J.D., of THE DENTALAW GROUP, Ft. Lauderdale, FL represented the plaintiff. Thomas C. Woods, Esq., Miami, FL for the defendant.