Dental malpractice - Alleged over-preparation of five anterior teeth for porcelain crowns - Failure to timely diagnose pulpitis.
The plaintiff in this action, a female in her 50s, contended
that the defendant dentist negligently over-prepared teeth for
crowns leading to pulpitis (inflammation of the pulp of a tooth).
The plaintiff also claimed that the defendant failed to diagnose
the pulpitis or to make a proper referral for treatment of the
condition. The defendant denied that the plaintiffs teeth were
over-prepared for the crowns and contended that the plaintiffs
development of pulpitis was not causally related to the dental
The plaintiffs dental expert testified that the defendant
dentist removed too much tooth surface when he prepared five of
the plaintiffs anterior teeth for porcelain crowns. The over-
preparation resulted in pain and development of pulpitis for
which the plaintiff should have been referred to a specialist,
according to the plaintiffs expert.
The defendants dental expert testified, based on slides taken by
a subsequent treating dentist, that the plaintiffs anterior
teeth were not over-prepared by the defendant. In fact, records
showed that the subsequent treating dentist removed even more
tooth surface from the teeth in question, according to the
defendants expert. The defendant also argued that pulpitis is a
natural consequence of tooth decay and was not caused by the
treatment rendered by the defendant.
The jury found for the defendant in a general verdict form.