Professional singer claims dental malpractice damaged career

Ann Knef Jan. 9, 2007, 7:04am

A Belleville singer who has toured throughout the U.S. and Europe has filed a malpractice suit against three dentists claiming their negligent treatment prohibits him from changing notes with the speed and acuity required of a professional singer.

Dennis L. Reed filed a three-count lawsuit against Dr. Mark Beehner of Belleville, Dr. Harvey Breckner of Swansea and Dr. Dane Robinson of Tempe, Ariz. Represented by David M. Duree of O'Fallon, Reed is seeking economic and non-economic damages from Beehner and Robinson and a sum in excess of $116,450 from Breckner for breach of contract.

According to the complaint filed Dec. 29 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, Reed sought a lower left replacement bridge from Breckner on Nov. 30, 2004. Reed claims Breckner tapped the temporary bridge more than 100 times with his crown remover, "and after plaintiff complained, an additional 40-50 times in attempting to remove the temporary bridge he had previously installed."

Reed claims he sustained a horizontal fracture in a permanent tooth abutting the bridge and a vertical fracture in a tooth above the bridge. He also claims the bridge inserted by Breckner did not fit properly.

"By December 25, 2005 (sic), the bridge inserted by Dr. Harvey Breckner came loose, and in the process, permanent abutting teeth...were also loosened and became mobile," the complaint states.

Breckner agreed to accept all financial responsibility for follow up care when referring Reed to Beehner for implants, the complaint states.

Among other things, Reed claims Beehner was negligent by inserting the implants without first building up bone and gum tissue through grafts, and for handling the implants with gloved hands instead of sterile equipment during a procedure in March 2005.

Reed claims he sustained damages resulting in infection, paralysis of his lip and lower jaw, loss of bone and gum tissue, facial disfigurement, parethesia, the need for bone grafts, the need for gum tissue grafts, the need for substantial restorative dental work, stiffness and lack of flexibility in the lower lip.

He claims pain, suffering, mental anguish, medical expenses and loss of income from his professional singing career and from the sale of recorded songs in a substantial amount.

Reed claims he learned about Robinson through Internet advertising and went to his office in Tempe, Ariz. for dental implants in June 2005.

Reed claims Robinson is negligent for inserting implants that impinged on a nerve, for not handling the implants with sterile equipment, using implants that were not FDA approved and by placing the implants too close together, among other things.

He claims that Breckner has failed to reimburse him for prior dental expenses and additional and related medical expenses.

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