Orthodontic Patient Requires Nerve Block Treatment For Pain Relief

Wendy Ketner, M.D.

Written by
— Updated on April 23, 2019

Orthodontist ExpertThis case involves a male orthodontic patient whose occlusion was suffering because his upper front teeth bit down too close to his bottom front teeth. The patient’s treating orthodontist recommended the patient get braces. The patient’s understanding was that the braces would lighten the anterior contact to promote the long-term stability of his teeth. The orthodontist estimated that the patient would only require braces for 12 months. The patient ultimately required braces for over 3 years. When the braces eventually came off, the patient’s occlusion had worsened, and he only had one point of contact when biting down. The patient also developed severe facial pain around his mouth and cheeks, requiring him to undergo sphenopalatine ganglion blocks for pain relief. An expert orthodontist was sought to review the current course of treatment and opine on the standard of care the patient received.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please describe your experience in treating patients with similar conditions.

Expert Witness Response E-066003

I hold a Ph.D. in oral biology and an MSD in orthodontics. I am fellowship-trained in developmental biology and regenerative medicine, and I have authored 15+ publications on various orthodontics research topics. I also lecture regularly in the field of orthodontics, oral biology, and craniofacial growth. I would say that the patient, in this case, is one of a small percentage of people who approach an orthodontist for bite issues or feeling their dentition/occlusion. If such a patient presented to me, I would certainly do my best to help him/her, including initiate treatment if necessary.

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