Allegedly Defective Dental Implant Causes Bone Loss in Patient

    This oral implant case involves a defective dental implant. The plaintiff is a twenty-seven-year-old male who had his tooth knocked out in a recreational baseball game. The plaintiff was playing baseball with a group of friends and sitting in the dugout. A foul ball was hit towards the plaintiff and struck him in the mouth, knocking out his upper right cuspid. The plaintiff was rushed to the hospital where he was treated for the bleeding and swelling. X-Rays were taken of the plaintiff’s mouth and jaw to determine the extent of his injuries. It was determined that no other damage had occurred besides his tooth being knocked out. The hospital referred the plaintiff to an oral surgeon who could treat him for his injury. The plaintiff scheduled an appointment with the oral surgeon and went in for a consultation two weeks later. During the consultation, the surgeon concluded that a dental implant was necessary to replace the plaintiff’s lost tooth. The plaintiff scheduled another appointment to have the surgery done. Five weeks later, the plaintiff returned to the oral surgeon to have an implant put in. The plaintiff underwent surgery that was deemed an initial success. The plaintiff had the normal swelling and bruising that was associated with the surgery, but there were no other signs of any problem. Two months later while eating a sandwich, the plaintiff’s implant began to come dislodged. He scheduled an appointment with the oral surgeon for one week later to examine the problem. By his appointment, the plaintiff had begun experiencing extreme pain and swelling around the site of the implant. After taking multiple X-rays, the surgeon determined that the implant became loose and there was bone loss around the site of the implant. As a result, the plaintiff had to undergo multiple surgeries for bone grafting and another implant.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. What types of risks are associated with dental implants?

    Expert Witness Response

    Dental surgery, like any other surgery, can present a number of risks for patients. This is especially true for dental implants that require drilling the implant into the patient’s upper maxilla in order to place it. Some of the risks associated with implants such as this include postoperative bleeding and swelling, which the plaintiff experienced. These are typical when a surgery such as this is preformed. Additionally, just like any other surgery, there is always the risk of infection, which the plaintiff did not experience. Bone loss, however, is not a typical symptom of dental implant surgeries. Studies have shown, however, that certain implants are defective and do not properly attach to the surrounding bone tissue. When this occurs, the plaintiff may experience extreme pain and swelling around the site of the implant due to the friction caused by the loosening implant. It appears as though the plaintiff in this case may have received a defective implant, however, further analysis is needed to reach a definitive conclusion. Examining the exact implant the patient received and inspecting the plaintiff’s maxilla would prove useful in determining the exact cause of the plaintiff’s problem. I am an oral surgeon with over twenty-five years of experience. I have done hundreds of dental implants throughout my career and reviewed numerous cases of defective implants.

    Contact this expert witness