BRISTOL MAN LEFT WITH FACIAL PARALYSIS AFTER DENTIST EXTRACTED WISDOM TOOTH IN LOCAL SURGERY
A 28-year-old Bristol man has received £15K in damages after his dentist extracted his wisdom tooth in her practice and caused him to have chin and lip nerve damage.
Scott Browne, 28, from Horfield, Bristol was a regular visitor to his dentist, Dr Kenyon at Monks Park Dental Practice in Horfield, from the age of nine. In 2005, he first noticed that he had pain and discomfort in his lower right wisdom tooth. His dentist, Dr Kenyon, prescribed antibiotics to combat this, however the discomfort didn’t go away and Mr Browne went back to Dr Kenyon in 2006, where she found evidence of decay and therefore filled the tooth.
Over the next seven years Mr Browne continued to have regular check-ups until in 2013 he experienced serious pain after the filling in his lower right wisdom tooth fell out. He went for an X-ray which showed gross, deep decay which was down to the pulp of the tooth and Dr Kenyon advised that his tooth would need extracting.
X-rays showed that the tooth had a root that lay across the dental nerve canal meaning there was a high risk of nerve injury. In normal circumstances it would be expected that this procedure as it was so high risk would be carried out in a dental hospital, however, Dr Kenyon told Mr Browne that he would be absolutely fine and that she could remove the tooth there that day in the surgery.
What followed next is a catalogue of problems. Scott Browne said: “I was told by Dr Kenyon that she would take the tooth out there and then, she injected me with something to numb my mouth and then I was sent to a waiting room whilst the effects took hold. Afterwards, I was called back and Dr Kenyon proceeded with the removal of my tooth. At one point she had to get a colleague to come in to hold my head still as it was such a difficult procedure – it was like some kind of comedy sketch and I was the victim of the joke”.
He continued: “24 hours later in my lip and chin area was still numb, so I went back to see my dentist who wasn’t there and saw another dentist who referred me to the Bristol Dental Hospital that day. I had an emergency appointment and explained what had happened, they were horrified and said that the procedure to remove my wisdom tooth should have been done in a hospital not in a normal dental practice”.
The hospital diagnosed that Mr Browne had suffered a nerve injury as a result of his extraction,
Mr Browne was left angry and frustrated, He had to go back to hospital one month later still with complete numbness and the hospital informed him he would need to go every three months for regular monitoring to see if the feeling was coming back in his lip and chin..
He said: “By this point, I had to adapt my eating and drinking habits as I couldn’t sip or drink, glasses kept bashing on my teeth or my lip as I had no concept of where they were due to the numbness”.
14 months after the extraction, he still had altered sensations in this area and was told it was likely to have caused permanent damage.
Dental Law Partnership’s Jonathan Owen said: “Mr Browne was a regular dental goer who saw the same dentist since childhood. He had trust in his dentist, so when he was told she was able to extract his tooth, he believed her. What then followed meant that he has been left with nerve damage. He is a 28 year old man and has suffered pain and problems ever since this wisdom tooth was removed.”.
Mr Browne said: “I felt angry and frustrated and no one seemed to take responsibility for what had happened. I soon realised I needed to make someone accountable and by searching online I came across the Dental Law Partnership who helped me every step of the way. The money here wasn’t the reason I did this, I just feel that if you are trusted and in a position of power over a patient you should do your best by them. Dr Kenyon let me down when I needed her most and that is something I will never get over”.
An out of court settlement of £15K was awarded against Dr Kenyon. She did not admit liability for her actions.