Belleville singer's dental malpractice case will go to trial

By Amelia Flood | Jun 19, 2009

A singer who claims botched dental surgery has hurt his career, will see his medical malpractice case go to trial in St. Clair County.

The trial order, which was not readily available for viewing Thursday, came down the same day as a case management conference before Circuit Judge Robert LeChien on June 16.

Plaintiff Dennis Reed of Belleville brought the suit against the dentists who attempted to remove a temporary bridge Reed had in 2005.

Reed's original complaint was filed in December 2006 and named Dr. Harvey Breckner of Swansea, Dr. Dane Robinson of Tempe, Ariz. and Dr. Mark Beehner of Belleville as defendants.

Reed claims in his suit that Breckner fractured two of Reed's permanent teeth during the procedure. He claims that the newly installed bridge did not fit properly, creating a cross bite.

A professional singer, Reed claims that the dental problems have impacted his ability to change notes with the speed and accuracy demanded by his profession.

According to the complaint, Breckner agreed to accept financial responsibility for the injuries and for Reed's follow-up treatment.
Reed also sued Breckner for breach of contract over his dental expenses after Breckner's initial treatment.

After that agreement had been reached, according to his complaint, Reed saw Beehner. Beehner installed implants for two of the damaged teeth. Reed claims Beehner handled the implants with gloved hands rather than sterile instruments. He also alleges Beehner did not take x-rays to determine whether there was enough base-bone to implant the items and that this caused the implants to impinge on a nerve. Reed says this resulted in infection, paralysis of his lip and lower jaw, loss of bone and gum, disfigurement and damage to Reed's ability to sing.

Reed claims Robinson pierced part of his mouth and hit a nerve while implanting teeth, did not handle the implants properly, and used a non-FDA approved protein. Reed alleges the treatment made his mouth more susceptible to infection and that it caused the same problems as Beehner's treatment had.

He sued all three dentists for pain, suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of income, disability, medical expenses and other charges.

Reed has sought damages in excess of "a sum that is fair and reasonable," and costs.

Reed is represented by David Duree. Beehner is represented by Chrisian Willenborg. Breckner is represented by James Craney. Robinson is represented by Kristine Mack.

The case is St. Clair case number 06-L-748.

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