A Glimpse of Our Future



In Sunday’s USA Today:

“A 3-year-old girl who suffered massive brain damage after undergoing dental procedures on multiple teeth last month has died, an attorney for her family said Saturday.

 The child’s family has filed a malpractice suit against the Kailua, Hawaii, dentist who performed the procedures, and that suit will be amended to include wrongful death, Rick Fried, attorney for the family of Finley Boyle, said in confirming her death.

Finley died at Hospice Hawaii at 8:47 p.m. Friday with her family at her side, hospice President Kenneth Zeri said.

The parents, Ashley and Evan Boyle, filed the lawsuit last week against dentist Lilly Geyer, 36, and unidentified staff members at Island Dentistry for Children. The suit seeks unspecified damages.

The case follows that of 13-year-old Jahi McMath, who was declared brain dead by physicians at Children’s Hospital Oakland after surgery to remove her tonsils and treat other tissue to improve her breathing. While in the recovery room she began hemorrhaging, suffered cardiac arrest and lapsed into a coma. She remains on life support.

Fried said that the child was diagnosed by the dentist and scheduled for procedures on 10 teeth, including root canals on four teeth and fillings in the others.”

          Uh, what’s going on with some of our doctors and dentists? Are they really unqualified to practice? Are these men and women the ones who were near the bottom of their classes?
          Is there a real process to renew their licenses? Or, are the renewals rubber-stamped by equally unqualified, disinterested public employees.
          In order to renew a mortgage or real estate license, at least in New York or Florida, you must take a 45 hour continuing education class AND get at least an 85 on the final exam. I know about the Florida and New York real property laws because I was licensed in both those states for both. But what are the requirements to renew these physical health licenses?
         I am certainly not condemning doctors, dentists and others in the health fields. After all, I am alive because a great Nurse Practitioner realized I might have cancer, was right, and got me to the best doctors, who then referred me to other great doctors. But, why shouldn’t other patients have great nurses, doctors and dentists?
          Looking soberly at the disaster which is Obamacare, I think this nightmare that these families have incurred and are living through now will become the norm and not the exception. Doctors will be forced to breeze through exams of patients, rather than spend the quality time necessary to properly diagnose a patient, in order to keep the government’s costs to a minimum.
          Is that what we really want? A bureaucrat determining health care? What happened to “First, do no harm”?
          The doctor and dentist who were responsible for the death of these children  must be stripped of their licenses, no matter what happens in a court of law. They certainly did not live up to that promise, to not do harm. The ethics and morality of their actions outweighs any legal issue they may otherwise successfully win.
          It is time to really protect the patient with real reform, not this bureaucratic hobgoblin called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It is neither.
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  1. Virginia Herbert McDougall

    January 6, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Before you bash this dentist without having all the facts, ask why was a three year old having this much dental work? If her mouth was in that bad shape at 3 , then what the hell were the parents doing? No way unless 24/7 candy, no brushing her teeth, poor nutrition. You don’t have all the facts. You are one f the reasons doctors are retiring early.. Having to deal with the litigious society we live in

    • Roger Wildin

      January 6, 2014 at 8:44 am

      Virginia, you yourself have asked the right question. And without having all the facts, I’ll do the same but just use a little old fashioned common sense. 4 root canals and filings on 6 more teeth on a 3 year old ?! Isn’t there such thing as Baby Teeth and do these not fall out as toddlers grow ? I’m not a dentist but I am a father and have raised a few children. All of them had teeth fall out during their toddler years and new ones grew in to replace them. Sometimes the new ones just push the old ones out, so maybe this child didn’t need to have those procedures in the first place. How old are your children and when did they begin to have dental problems ?

      • Virginia Herbert McDougall

        January 6, 2014 at 8:51 am

        Absolutely Roger, the amount of work sounds fishy.my kids started going to the dentist as toddlers. They did not have extensive work until in their teens. IMO knee jerk reaction is to the article asking what is wrong with doctors and dentists. Probably nothing. We live in a society where people sue at he drop of a hat. ALL procedure have risks. I do agree that this amount of work is a red flag .

        • CowboyUp Mayer

          January 6, 2014 at 9:26 am

          Virginia & Roger it is so nice to see comments that are not sniping and contain some very interesting points, You bring up a really good one with people being sue happy and that is why doctors and dentists costs are so high due to malpractice insurance !

    • rascallyrabbit

      January 6, 2014 at 11:41 am

      Obviously this child’s home dental care and diet was lacking. That said, it is likely the anesthesia that is the issue. She was apparently given more than she could handle by body weight, and it appears that she was not being properly monitored. Anesthesia in children takes great care with the risks being greater. Off the top, would say the appointment to do all the teeth in one setting was pushing it. The primary teeth provide a roadmap for the developing permanent teeth, so if they can be restored rather than extracted, that is preferable. What a tragedy for everyone.

      • Verity

        January 6, 2014 at 11:54 am

        Children in Hawaii often chew on raw sugar cane. It’s a tasty readily available ‘snack’ in Hawaii…..lots of sugar (!)….like kids on the mainland would have a sucker or candy bar.

        • rascallyrabbit

          January 6, 2014 at 4:47 pm

          Good point.

    • justapatriot

      January 6, 2014 at 3:17 pm

      Both my children inherited the very, very thin enameled teeth their dad had. By the time he was 19 yrs old he had dentures. In trying to keep my children’s teeth they endured multiple root canals by the time they were 5. The procedures were done on baby teeth to keep the spacing long enough for the permanent teeth to come in. We made a game out of brushing and flossing morning, noon and night. All to no avail. One dentist said they had very acidy saliva to go along with the thin enamel. I’ve been accused of not caring and I have spent thousands upon thousands on their teeth. I am 60 and had my very first root canal last year. So our dental hygiene habits are not the culprit. Not everyone has teeth that are as strong as the average tooth.

      • Virginia Herbert McDougall

        January 6, 2014 at 3:24 pm

        Thank you for the input. You make my point. We don’t have all the info and the author of this piece wants to crucify the dentist

        • justapatriot

          January 6, 2014 at 4:32 pm

          Thank you for your response. I did want to say that anesthesia for little ones can be dicey as well… Sometimes they react differently than expected and it’s common for a great deal of work to be done at one time to minimize then number of times they have to anesthetize.

  2. Ronnie Salmanowitz Breitstein

    January 6, 2014 at 8:39 am

    I am wondering why the dental work on a 3-year old was done? They are all teeth that will fall out on their own??? And also a 13 year old with root canals??? WHY??? Yes the care of the teeth is crucial but there are some people who just look at sugar and they get a cavity-and I think the parents have the right to question the doctors’ abilities when their child DIES. The court will determine whether malpractice came into play. I think even if you aren’t cleaning your childs’ teeth properly, they should be able to get a cavity filled without dying from it.

  3. Fishin' Fool

    January 6, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Would be interesting to know “the rest of the story”. The safest place to do this type of procedure is typically in a hospital with an anesthesiologist in attendance. Unfortunately the cost is prohibitive. Also, this type of dental need in a 3 year-old? Of course preservation of the primary dentition is critical, otherwise life-long problems with the permanent dentition will ensue. I would suspect no Fluoridation of the water supply? Yes, we will likely, in my opinion, see more of this as medical/dental providers retire rather than deal with the debacle known as “Obamacare”. Do not be surprised if your future provider speaks limited English.

    • Gail Miller

      January 6, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      The limited English is already happening where I live, most are from the Mid-East or some place similar, And it scares me to no end because communication is difficult and I’m a cancer survivor. We will see how this turns out in the end. As for this poor baby girl, I dont care about all the little things involved, I’m just horribly sad she died due to her baby teeth. I hope shes in Gods loving hands and singing with the Angels.

  4. Dave Lyons

    January 6, 2014 at 9:01 am

    It breaks my heart to see that this darling baby died at the hands of a medical professional…. I can’t imagine what her parents are going through, let alone the guilt and sorrow that the medical staff is dealing with… What a tragedy…

  5. Nancy Logan

    January 6, 2014 at 9:15 am

    It is sad that anyone would do any procedeure on baby teeth!! They usually will fall out by age 6 or 7!! Unless the teeth were rotted, inflamed and causing health problems root canals on baby teeth someone should be going to jail for murder!!!

  6. Lynn Hawkins

    January 6, 2014 at 10:19 am

    As a 4 yr old child (60 yrs ago), I had tons of dental work done including a couple root canals, and by the age of 11 had more fillings and root canals than teeth and even some extractions. (I remember them saying I had 24 cavities at 4 yrs old – I didn’t even have 24 teeth!) Some work was done in a dental office, for some I was under general anesthetic). When I said my prayers at night, I didn’t ask for a pony, I asked for FALSE TEETH! Every night!! My teeth and mouth caused me to be in constant pain. I assume the same may be true for this toddler – do you want her in exructiating pain all the time? Dental work was the only thing that stopped my pain.

    Having said that, I’ve always heard that “Your baby teeth are your mom’s, your adult teeth are your own.” Meaning that since baby teeth are forming in your mouth before you were born, your mother’s nutritional deficiencies may cause your baby teeth problems. I know my mother was much more concerned with looking thin and sexy when she carried me than in making sure “I” had proper nutrition. I was rarely given candy and I brushed my teeth with flouridated toothpaste at least twice a day. I can tell you that my adult teeth were/are WAY WAY better! And, at 64, I still have almost all of them and do not need dentures.

    On the flip side, I was careful with my nutrition when carrying my son. He never had a cavity in his baby teeth! BUT, he had a ton of severe food allergies and I worked with a pediatrician and nutritionist every week until he was about 4 yrs old to make sure he was getting as much good nutrition as possible. Hard to do because he couldn’t digest anything. When he finally got his adult teeth, the enamel was very soft and he has had nothing but trouble with them since they came in. He is an adult now and between the two of us we have put well over $20,000 of dental work into his mouth. AND, yes, he brushed at least twice a day, and rarely ate anything sugary because it hurt his teeth, and we had flouridated water, flouridated toothpaste, and HE TOOK FLOURIDE TABLETS!

    Perhaps this baby’s mother was poor, maybe on welfare and couldn’t afford proper nutrition or know what was best for her to eat, or maybe this baby was genetically predisposed to poor teeth. Either way, I can tell you, there ARE reasons for a toddler to have extensive work done on her teeth! I would definitely be looking into this dentist’s practice as something is very wrong and someone should be held accountable for her death.

    • Never use flouride

      January 6, 2014 at 12:39 pm

      I feel sorry for your son and his messed up teeth. I would opine that the biggest thing wrong with his teeth is that he has been exposed to so much fluoride. Flouride is extremely toxic, it rots one’s teeth, caused brain damage and other things that are not good for anyone. Look up fluoride in a web search, include something about the hazards associated with it. It is not good for anything.

      • Lynn Hawkins

        January 7, 2014 at 1:16 pm

        I absolutely agree with you on the flouride. I didn’t know then what I do know now. But I don’t believe that isn’t the main cause of the soft teeth. The biggest problem was that he was getting nothing out of his food and we literally worked to keep him from starving to death. We gave him chewable calcium/magnesium but if you can’t digest it, it doesn’t help much. So, I doubt the fluoride tablets got digested either. Having said that, me and docs are pretty sure that lack of good mineras/nutrition was the cause. But, fluoride does NOT stop tooth decay, it is harmful and is a toxic waste product from manufacturing. It’s poison and NO one should be forced to drink water containing it. In moving to my new home here, I checked to be sure they did not fluoridate the water – they don’t. But, yes, you are right about fluoride and I hope more people wake up!

  7. Patricia Stahl-Shopsky

    January 6, 2014 at 11:05 am

    I lived in Hawaii for a short time. They have the some of the worst doctors, hospitals, and teachers in the country. They go there for the beaches and the job is second. The school system is 53rd in the country. That’s right, 53rd. They come in behind Puerto Rico and other American territories. My son was a poor student in Pa and went to an A and B student in Maui, learning schoolwork he had had 2 grades before. I had to take my daughter to the hospital emergency room and watched a man who had had a heart attack sit unconscious in a wheelchair, being completely ignored, for my entire visit of over an hour.

  8. Susan A Davis

    January 6, 2014 at 11:10 am

    I am a 59 year old woman who needed 2 teeth removed and my dentist would only allow it to be done by a surgeon in a hospital setting with a licensed
    anesthesiologist. Why in the world would a dentist perform 10 procedures on a 3 year without a Hospital setting. I personally would have questioned that many at 1 time.

  9. Debbie Redington

    January 6, 2014 at 11:53 am

    This is what happens when you have medicaid and the doctors decide you need so called “preventative care.” It prevents nothing and just makes money for the practitioners who get reimbursed with taxpayer dollars. Why? Because they can.

    • Virginia Herbert McDougall

      January 7, 2014 at 6:31 am

      Oh yeah. They do this for their BIG 17 cents on the dollar. Get real Debbie. Most private practice docs and I assume dentist don’t take medicaid

      • Debbie Redington

        March 28, 2014 at 8:59 am

        You think people on Medicaid have no access to these services? Of course they do. They are the majority of those who do.

        • Virginia Herbert McDougall

          March 28, 2014 at 9:07 am

          Debbie you missed the whole point of what I said. You made it sound like this happened because she was a Medicaid patient and this dentist was out for money. I’ll put it in terms you understand. Medicaid does not reimburse enough to make someone want to do unnecessary procedures ! Now do you understand what I’m saying?

  10. John Calabro

    January 6, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    A three year old needs root canals? On baby teeth???

  11. Boagrius

    January 6, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Root canals? “ROOT CANALS!!!” On a 3 year old who will end up losing her baby teeth anyway. I find this bit of information concerning. And yes, we should all wait until all the facts are in to form an opinion. I’m not a doctor but how do you get brain damage from dental work? There’s malpractice here. We just have to figure out whether it was the dentist, the parents or both.

  12. ginger

    January 6, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    A root canal on a three year old? Those are baby teeth. Unless it was an emergency they should not have tried to do so much on such a young child.

  13. Franklin

    January 6, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    In case you guys didn’t know, recent research is finding that tooth decay has less to do with ‘acids’ and ‘sugar’ and more to do with your mineral intake or lack thereof. When your body lacks calcium and other micronutrients, your body pulls them out of your teeth and your enamel weakens enough that you can’t deal with acids or bacteria. This is supported by all the anecdotes of indigenous people eating sugar non-stop and having relatively low tooth decay.

    • Lynn Hawkins

      January 7, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      Yes, and fluoride does NOT help. See my post above about lack of minerals.

  14. bill c

    January 6, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    Where were the parents in all of this? If someone told me my kid needed this kind of work, I most certainly would have gotten a second opinion. This amount of work on a child that young and all at the same time should have set off bells all over the place.

  15. SK Turner

    January 7, 2014 at 1:40 am

    At 3 most of her teeth were baby teeth. Root canal on baby teeth?

  16. Snod

    January 7, 2014 at 4:49 am

    WTF? Our world is going crazy!

  17. [email protected]

    January 7, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    What was a three yr old child cutting-edge extensive work done? Something does not sound right.

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