Man claims he nearly died after dentist failed to properly extract tooth

Kelly Holleran Aug. 2, 2013, 8:07am

A man has filed suit against his dentist, saying he nearly died after he sustained a severe infection of one of his wisdom teeth. 

Quang Dao claims he visited defendant Khoa Le at defendant Tulip Dental on May 9, 2011, because of a painful toothache from a wisdom tooth that was not protruding above the gum line but that was infected and causing significant swelling.

However, Le did not adequately treat Dao, causing him to develop severe swelling of his throat and face late on the day of his extraction, according to the complaint filed July 18 in Jefferson County District Court.

In fact, the swelling was so terrible that Dao was having trouble breathing the following morning and requested an immediate follow-up appointment with Le, the suit states. He was told the dentist could not see him until 3 p.m., the complaint says.

Dao was then taken to the emergency department at Memorial Hermann Baptist Hospital where a CT scan showed pus and infection. He claims he was placed on a respirator, a tube was placed down his throat and he was given lab work, which confirmed he had developed an infection called Ludwig’s Angina.

“Appropriate and life-saving emergency action at the hospital consisted of blood cultures, intubation, IV antibiotics, and lung ventilation via mechanical ventilation necessary to save Dao’s life over the next four days of hospitalization,” the suit states.

Because of his inadequate dental care, Dao claims he suffered serious scarring and disfigurement, endured physical incapacity and disability and experienced severe physical and emotional pain and suffering. He also lost his enjoyment of life, incurred medical costs and lost his earning capacity, the complaint says.

Dao says the dentist breached the applicable standards of care by failing to appropriately diagnose his health problem, by failing to use proper debridement technique, by failing to be adequately trained or skilled in the management of dental infection, by failing to promptly refer Dao to an oral maxillofacial surgeon and by failing to properly medicate the dental infection.

In his complaint, Dao is seeking an unspecified judgment, plus exemplary damages, pre- and post-judgment interest at the maximum rates allowed by law, court costs and other relief the court deems just.

Kenneth W. Lewis of Bush Lewis in Beaumont will be representing him.

The case has been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court.

Case No. E194-544

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