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Malpractice lawsuit filed against Roanoke dentist office

Lawsuit claims unsterilized instruments put 9-year-old at risk for infection

ROANOKE, Va. – A local dentist office is being sued for medical malpractice after a Salem family claims employees used unsterilized instruments when treating their 9-year-old child last month.

The lawsuit identifies the location as Spencer Dental in Roanoke. The office is under the same parent company as when it used to be called Kool Smiles.

The lawsuit, which was filed Thursday in Roanoke City Circuit Court, claims employees admitted to the family that they didn’t follow procedure and the family’s child is at risk for infection.

The mother claims an employee contacted her 10 days after her child’s appointment.

A company spokesperson sent a statement to 10 News saying:

“When we discovered that patients were potentially exposed to dental instruments that had been cleaned but not fully sterilized we promptly notified those patients and took steps to help ensure their health and safety.”

The lawsuit claims employees realized a mistake was made and at least 50 patients may have been affected.

It says the 9-year-old suffered pain from undergoing blood work, a regimen that will include four follow ups in the coming year. It claims the child has “emotional distress” from blood being drawn and the uncertainty about an infection.

The family is asking for $2.3 million in compensation.

The company spokesperson said it can’t comment on the lawsuit but added, “Spencer Dental and Kool Smiles have been committed to providing safe and quality dental care to thousands of Virginia families for nearly two decades.”

The law firm says more patients have contacted them and it expects to file more lawsuits of this nature in the future.

Early last year, the company settled a $24 million federal lawsuit which alleged it performed unnecessary procedures to collect Medicaid claims in multiple states. The company denied wrongdoing.


About the Author:

Tommy Lopez

Tommy is a news reporter and anchor at WSLS 10. You can see him Saturday and Sunday mornings from 6 to 8 on Virginia Today.

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