Teenagers Turn to Strangers for Legal Advice Online After Wisdom Teeth Extractions

Previously, I have posted numerous user written experiences of wisdom teeth removal. For example, you can see One Star Yelp Reviews on Wisdom Teeth, Successful and Positive Wisdom Teeth Removal Experiences, Wisdom Teeth Surgery Survey, and Wisdom Teeth Extraction Survey. Many of these experiences of wisdom teeth extractions were sent to me in a survey I have been conducting for quite some time on wisdom teeth removal. Other experiences were found from other sources such as reviews on Yelp. It has long been known by those who search for wisdom teeth (but not much discussed) that teenage patients who have wisdom teeth extracted often go online afterwards if things don’t go as planned.

It appears that some patients are hurt and injured from the extraction and turn for advice on the internet. One such website where I have seen this occur is WorldLawDirect which is a forum for people online about legal issues. I have seen 2 such cases on WorldLawDirect where teenage patients have posted their wisdom teeth story and asked for legal advice, see http://www.worldlawdirect.com/forum/consumer-complaints/71293-can-i-sue-my-dentist-17-mouth-pains.html and http://www.worldlawdirect.com/forum/medical-malpractice/51622-can-i-sue-dentist-my-nerves-were-damaged-after-recieving-local-anesthesia.html.

I will now review these 2 cases to compare and contrast the similarities. In the first case a 17 year old female had four wisdom teeth removed during spring break. She complained that she did not receive antibiotics after surgery and states her parents looked online and found information to suggest antibiotics should be taken after surgery. I have explored the issue of taking antibiotics after wisdom teeth before such as over at http://www.teethremoval.com/antibiotic_resistance.html In this I currently refer to 2 studies in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery which suggests taking antibiotics before surgery may be more effective than after but also suggests that prophylactic antibiotics before surgery may not be universally needed. Carrying on with the explanation, the girl states that she suffered from lock jaw after the surgery and had significant pain. She states that upon consultation with another doctor it was determined she developed dry socket and an infection. She further states

“Here I am, two months later, and part of my lip goes numb, I have tooth fragments behind my upper right extraction site, with part of my gum missing. I have a soreness that will partly go away, but I can’t bite my top lip, or smile without the gums under my top lip hurt to the point of tears, and the sides of my gums as well, and I cannot chew on my left side due to the fact my back tooth feels like it’s going to pop out of my mouth.”

She also states that she had 11 unnecessary fillings before the four wisdom teeth were extracted bringing the total amount of surgery and fillings to around $33,000 which was paid by insurance. She simply wants to know if this is malpractice and if she can sue. Several users on the post then give some brief comments about whether or not a legal case can be brought and their suggestions.

In case 2 an 18 year old (sex unclear) reports having local anesthesia while having wisdom teeth removed and then developing double vision. He also states he developed nerve damage other his complaints are not clear. Again several users on the forum comment with their suggestions.

So overall, it appears that some teenagers after wisdom teeth removal are going online for legal advice from strangers. The strangers then offer a few comments about the merits of the case and what they suggest. I suppose this practice will continue….

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