Dentist couple in apology to woman with chronic pain
Published 06/02/2014 | 02:30
Two dentists have unreservedly apologised to a grandmother who says she was left with persistent facial pain from cosmetic dental surgery.
The apology by husband and wife dentists Edmond O'Flaherty and Clodagh Myers was part of a High Court settlement of a negligence case brought against them by Madeline Feerick-Swift (63), from Kiltimagh in Co Mayo.
It was claimed Ms Myers, of the Murray Myers clinic in Bray, Co Wicklow, was negligent in carrying out surgery for fitted implants and restoration teeth, to replace dentures which Ms Feerick-Swift had fitted many years ago.
She claimed Mr O'Flaherty, of the Seapoint Clinic, Fairview, Dublin, was negligent in his treatment after she was referred to him by Ms Myers to deal with her pain.
She said he carried out surgery to remove one of the implants but that was excruciatingly painful and had no effect on her persistent chronic pain.
She only learned later the two dentists were engaged to be married at that time.
She said after "numerous ineffectual attempts" by Mr O'Flaherty to resolve the problems, she was referred to pain specialists in St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin.
There, she said, her injuries were diagnosed as resulting from Ms Myers's original surgery. She has been advised her chronic pain is permanent.
Ms Justice Bronagh O'Hanlon was told that following talks, the matter had been settled against the two dentists, with actions against the clinics struck out, on the basis of an apology being read out in court.
It stated: "The defendants wish to apologise unreservedly for the pain and suffering they have caused Ms Feerick-Swift and earnestly hope the settlement of this action will bring her some consolation for the pain and suffering caused."
In her statement of claim, Ms Feerick-Swift said during pre-surgery discussions in July 2008, Ms Myers told her she would experience some pain and discomfort after the implants were inserted. But she said she was told this would dissipate and the restoration teeth could then be inserted.
The whole process would take a few months and Ms Myers assured her she "would be eating steak by Christmas 2008".
Following a CT scan, she was told it would not be possible to insert implants and fixed teeth into her upper jaw without first grafting bone from her hip.
She declined to have this done but went ahead with the surgery on her lower jaw on September 12, 2008.
Afterwards, Ms Myers told her a bone in her jaw had shattered during surgery and a bone graft had been necessary.
Three different sets of teeth were fitted to the implants in her lower jaw between April 2009 and June 2010 but none were a good fit as they were abnormally long, she said.
Her personal and social life had been shattered, and she had suffered severe mental and emotional injury, it was claimed.