The plaintiff was a thirty-eight year old mail carrier who had been receiving regular dental care from the defendant general dentist for several years. He complained about a “white spot” on his gums above a maxillary central incisor tooth and later noticed pus exuding from this spot. The defendant suggested that the plaintiff see a partner defendant dentist. That dentist performed periodontal surgery which resulted in significant recession of the gingiva around the necks of the upper anterior teeth revealing considerable tooth and root structure. The plaintiff claimed that he should have been referred to a periodontist. The plaintiff’s subsequent treating dentist found a maxillary anterior bridge constructed by the first dentist to be defective and the source of the periodontal abscess. The plaintiff was referred to a periodontist who was critical ofthe second dentist’s attempt at periodontal therapy. The plaintiff required replacement of his three unit bridge and gingival graft surgery. All dental expense was paid by dental insurance.
The case settled for $24,000 prior to trial. Kenneth P. Liroff, D.D.S., J.D., of THE DENTALAW GROUP, Ft. Lauderdale, FL represented the plaintiff. Michael L. Von Zamft, Miami, FL for the defendants.