May 19, 2022

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Lawsuit Alleges Dentist Left Drill Bit in Patient’s Jaw

In January last year, Indeera Musa went under for surgery at Stonebriar Facial and Oral Surgery in Frisco, hoping to have two dental implants replaced.

At first, the surgery seemed to be a success. But over the course of the next few days, Musa would report severe pain and swelling to her dentist, Kirk E. Scott, who performed the procedure.

It wasn’t until months later that she learned Scott had accidentally left a piece of a drill bit lodged in her jaw. Now, she’s suing.

By email, Musa said before all this she expected the surgery to be a routine process. “Naturally, needing to have surgery is not fun and can be a little scary. However, until now, I had no reason to be worried or fearful,” Musa said.

The surgery required Scott to use a drill bit called a trephine bur to remove the two faulty implants.

Usually, the stainless steel trephine bur is sunk over the failed implant and drilled into the jawbone. This creates a hole that allows the implant to be removed. Material is then grafted over the hole to prevent bone loss and preserve the area for future procedures.

“I wouldn’t want anyone else to have to go through this.” – Indeera Musa, dental patient

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When Musa reached out to the dentist’s office about the pain, they instructed her to continue taking pain medicine until her follow-up appointment in February. At that appointment, Musa told Scott that she was still experiencing deep pain in her lower left jaw. Scott scheduled her for another appointment three months later.

When Musa returned in June, Scott did an X-ray on her jaw to see if it was ready for the new implants. The X-rays showed a dense metallic object in Musa’s jaw. Scott revealed that it was a broken piece of a drill bit he used during the surgery. He told Musa not to worry and likened “this conduct to leaving metal bullet fragments in a patient’s body,” according to the lawsuit.

But getting the drill bit would take an “invasive and complex” surgery that compromised the structural integrity of Musa’s jaw forever, the lawsuit says.

“It is unacceptable and reckless for any dentist or doctor to leave remnants of surgical equipment inside of a patient following a surgery,” Russell Button, Musa’s attorney, said in a press release. “Ms. Musa was forced to live in excruciating pain for five months because Dr. Scott and Stonebriar Facial and Oral Surgery failed to follow safety protocols that were created to prevent careless mistakes like this.”

Scott’s attorney, Vernon Krueger, didn’t respond for comment, but in a court filing he said his client denies the allegations in the lawsuit.

“It has really impacted me,” Musa said. “I trusted Dr. Scott, and now I’m terrified of any medical care I may need in the future. You are supposed to believe that your doctor will do everything they can to make you better. I wouldn’t want anyone else to have to go through this.”