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Miami dentist accused of leaving part of a tool inside a patient’s tooth during root canal

The patient was receiving root canal treatment at the time

Helen Elfer
Wednesday 21 July 2021 17:52 BST
Dentist creates musical drill

A Miami-Dade, Florida dentist has been accused of leaving part of a hand file inside a patient’s tooth during a procedure.

According to a state complaint filed against the dentist, Alberto Graupera stopped a root canal mid-way through the procedure at the request of the patient. He closed up the tooth, and did not tell the patient that part of a hand file remained inside, reports The Miami Herald. The incident occurred in September 2020.

The state complaint alleges the dentist, Mr Graupera, violated the minimum standard of care during the treatment.

The Florida Department of Health’s administrative complaint filed against the license of Mr Graupera claims that there was a disagreement between the patient and the dentist over the best course of action on the patient’s tooth.

Mr Graupera advised extraction and an implant, but the patient wanted to try a root canal to save the tooth.

According to the complaint filed earlier this month: “While [Graupera] performed the root canal, a hand file separated in tooth No. 31. [Graupera] did not notify Patient J.V. of the hand file separation in tooth No. 31.”

The complaint says Mr Graupera then perforated that tooth.

“Patient J.V. became upset during the procedure and expressed a desire to seek a second opinion,” the complaint says. “[Graupera] placed a seal on the incomplete root canal and Patient J.V. did not return to [Graupera].”

According to The Miami Herald, a member of staff at Dr Dina and Associates in Tamarac told a reporter that Mr Graupera worked there currently. It is unclear where he was employed at the time of the reported incident.

An endodontist later “identified a retained hand file instrument” near the tip of the tooth’s root “as well as the perforation of the floor of tooth No. 31’s pulpal chamber”.

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