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Dentists apologise to mum left in chronic pain

TWO dentists have apologised to a mother who claimed she was left with chronic facial pain following dental surgery.

Madeline Feerick-Swift (63) brought a case against husband and wife Edmond O'Flaherty and Clodagh Myers after she had dentures replaced with implants and restoration teeth.

She claimed Ms Myers, of the Murray Myers clinic in Bray, Co Wicklow, was negligent in the original surgery.

Ms Feerick-Swift also alleged that 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.

The claimant said that Mr O'Flaherty had removed one of the implants, but that the procedure was excruciatingly painful and had no real effect.

She only later learned that the dentists were engaged to one another at that time.

After "numerous ineffectual attempts" to resolve the problem she was referred to St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, which she said blamed her troubles on Ms Myers' original surgery.

Yesterday, Ms Justice Bronagh O'Hanlon was told that the matter had been settled, with actions against the clinics struck out on the basis of an apology read out in the High Court.

It stated: "The defendants wish to apologise unreservedly for the pain they have caused... and hope the settlement will bring some consolation."

In her statement of claim, Ms Feerick-Swift said that in pre-surgery discussions in July 2008, Ms Myers told her that while she would experience some pain, this would fade.

She was told the process would take a few months and Ms Myers said she "would be eating steak by Christmas 2008".

SHATTERED

Following a CT scan, she was told it would not be possible to insert implants without a bone graft. She declined to have this done but went ahead with surgery on her lower jaw in September 2008. Afterwards, Ms Myers told her a bone in her jaw had shattered and a bone graft had been necessary.

Three sets of teeth were fitted to the implants in her lower jaw, but none were a good fit, it was claimed. Ms Myers, on occasion, blamed this on the lab technician and tried to improve the teeth by filing them herself, Ms Feerick-Swift said.

Throughout this, the chronic facial pain persisted and further surgery by both dentists failed to address the problem.

Ms Feerick-Swift said the episode had destroyed her social and personal life and left her emotionally scarred.

hnews@herald.ie


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