Plaintiff was a 55 year old school teacher who had been under the almost continuous care of her general dentist from 1963 until 1995. During her 32 year course of treatment by the defendant, the plaintiff diligently and almost religiously returned to the office for periodic prophylaxes (cleanings) which were performed by the defendant and not by a dental hygienist. In 1970, the defendant made a full mouth series of dental x-rays, and made cavity-detecting (bite-wing) x-rays at many of the cleaning visits.
She was never told about the onset or progression of periodontal disease until December, 1995, when she developed a periodontal abscess and the defendant made a new full mouth series of x-rays. Even then, the dentist didn’t tell her about her periodontal disease but, instead, referred her to a periodontist who “had to tell her the bad news.” The plaintiff lost several teeth and required four quadrants of periodontal surgery.
The case settled during the presuit investigation period for the defendant’s policy limits of $100,000.00. Dade County, Florida. Kenneth P. Liroff, D.D.S., J.D., of THE DENTALAW GROUP, Ft. Lauderdale, FL represented the plaintiff. Mary Lou Donovan, Claim Representative for St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., for the defendant.