Monday, June 23, 2008

State fines dentist $17,000 in patient's death

A Winter Park dentist was fined $17,000 by the state Thursday for twice dropping a small dental tool down the throat of a patient, who died after the second incident in 2007.

The Florida Board of Dentistry also barred Dr. Wesley Meyers from doing dental implants until he completes additional training. He is not prohibited from doing other procedures. The patient, 90-year-old Charles K. Gaal Jr., had sought the dentist's care in 2006 for implants to secure the dentures in his lower mouth.

Gaal's daughter said her father insisted on sticking with Meyers even after the dentist dropped a tiny screwdriver down his throat in October 2006. Gaal swallowed the tool and underwent a colonoscopy two days later to have it removed from his large intestine, according to state documents.

"[Meyers] assured us it had never happened before and it would never happen again," said Anne Marie Greer of Winter Springs, the patient's daughter. "My father believed in taking a man at his word."

Read the rest of the story on the Orlando Sentinel web site.

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