Dentist sued over patient's implant problems

Kelly Holleran Aug. 5, 2009, 8:20am

A St. Clair County woman has filed suit against the dentist who she says caused her bone loss and a severe infection after improperly working on an implanted tooth.

Jennifer Van Wyk claims she began receiving treatment from dentist Richard R. Boatman Jr., doing business as Troy Family Dental, in 2004 for various dental conditions.

During the course of Boatman's dental work on Wyk, he performed three root canals, according to the complaint filed July 31 in Madison County Circuit Court.

In April 2006, one of the teeth on which Boatman had performed a root canal fractured, and Boatman recommended to Wyk that she have an implant placed where the broken tooth was extracted, the suit states.

So, on May 1, 2006, Wyk had Boatman place an implant in her mouth, which he covered with a crown or cap, the complaint says.

Wyk claims that in July 2007 the crown or cap on the implant fractured.

She returned to Boatman, who attempted to remove the fractured crown with the use of a drill, but instead drilled into the implant, according to the complaint.

"As a direct and proximate result of Defendant's negligence and unskillfulness, Plaintiff sustained severe and permanent injuries, in that she developed a severe infection and bone loss, suffered and continues to suffer extreme pain, has lost her normal enjoyment of life; has expended and will continue to expend large sums of money endeavoring to be cured of her injuries, including numerous dental procedure, all to her damage in an amount in excess of $50,000," the suit states.

Boatman negligently failed to prescribe prophylactic antibiotics, failed to identify disease in Wyk's gum and performed procedures he was not qualified to perform, the complaint says.

Wyk is seeking a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

John T. Papa of Callis, Papa, Hale, Szewczyk and Danzinger in Granite City will be representing her.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-806.

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