Letitia Jenkins claims her dentist drilled too deeply while attempting to remove tooth decay, causing or contributing to infection which later required surgery and a tracheotomy.

Jenkins filed suit against Belleville dentist Chris Emuedue, DMD, Heartland Dental Care, Affordable Dentistry Today, Gateway Dental Care and Dental Health Resources on Dec. 4 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

She claims that Dr. Emuedue struck a nerve in the chamber pulp of tooth Number 17 and then improperly continued to fill the tooth with filling material.

Jenkins alleges that a few days after Dr. Emuedue performed restoration on numerous teeth Feb. 8, 2006, including Number 17, she experienced problems and difficulties including but not limited to facial swelling, difficulty swallowing, mouth and gum swelling, throat and ear pain, discomfort and sensitivity.

According to the suit, she was scheduled for oral surgery to extract Number 17 on March 31, 2006, but had to cancel the procedure because of facial swelling and pain.

"That on April 11, 2006, Letitia Jenkins was admitted into the Memorial Hospital with an abscess and a tracheotomy and dental surgery was performed, including removing Letitia Jenkins' tooth number 17," the complaint states.

Represented by Steven E. Katzman of Katzman & Associates in Belleville, Jenkins is seeking in excess of $250,000 in damages.

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