North Carolina Woman Sues Dentist Who Extracted 24 Teeth During Surgery

A woman is suing for medical malpractice after alleging her dentist pulled out 24 of her teeth without her legal permission.A North Carolina woman has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a Durham dentist she claims pulled too many teeth from her mouth while she was under sedation, according to the Herald Sun.

The plaintiff, Lauren Barber, is seeking monetary damages from Ilias Haralambakis, the dentist who performed the procedure. The lawsuit alleges that Barber showed up at Durham Family Dental Care on February 14, 2007, to have four wisdom teeth and two molars pulled, reported the newspaper. However, when the sedation medication wore off Barber reportedly discovered 24 of her teeth had been extracted.

The paper said Haralambakis completed the extractions in about an hour and charged at least $2,800 for the procedure.

Barber – who was left with eight remaining teeth – must now wear dentures. During the trial's opening statements, Barber's lawyer told the court that his client cannot eat corn on the cob or steak due to the state of her teeth.

"She can't show her little boy how to brush his teeth because she doesn't have any," Barber's lawyer said.

The defendant's lawyer said Barber's teeth were already been badly damaged from years of neglect before she saw Haralambakis, according to the news source. The defendant claims that during the procedure Barber told him to remove all of her teeth that were beyond repair, giving the dentist verbal consent to remove the 24 of the teeth in question. However, Barber's lawyer argued that the apparent consent was not applicable because Barber's judgement was impaired as a result of the drugs she was prescribed to take before the extractions.

Oral health is connected to a variety of medical conditions, including diabetes and heart disease, according to the American Dental Association. As a result, the World Health Organization has included dental health into its chronic disease prevention efforts.