A dental expert advises on a case involving a patient who presented to defendant dentist for examination and treatment after she lost a tooth due to trauma. Defendant took and reviewed a panorex x-ray that showed a right mandible fracture. The defendant did not diagnose, treat or refer plaintiff in connection with this injury/condition. Instead, he took an impression of the tooth area and fitted her with a temporary prosthesis to fill the space of the missing tooth. Prior to this treatment, plaintiff had no complaints or signs and symptoms of any inferior alveolar nerve injury resulting from her fractured jaw. The jaw fracture was later diagnosed and surgically repaired by a physician.
Plaintiff sued the dentist for negligence based on his failure to diagnose the jaw fracture. Delay in treatment resulted in nerve damage that has left her with tingling and numbness in her jaw.