Woman sues dentist for injuries to throat

WINFIELD -- A woman is suing her dentist after she claims she was injured while the defendant was repairing her tooth.

On Aug. 10, 2010, Sally Neale visited Dr. David Bell's office to have a front tooth repaired, according to a complaint filed Aug. 8 in Putnam Circuit Court.

Neale claims while in a reclining position in the dental chair and during the time Bell was working on her tooth, she felt something slide down her throat and she began to gag and choke.

Bell was aware that the drill bit had slid down Neale's throat causing the gagging and choking, but neither Bell nor his assistant offered to give any aid to Neale or to call 911, according to the suit.

Neale claims she later experienced significant pain and required an ambulance to transport her to Charleston Area Medical Center in Teays Valley where x-rays showed a dentist's drill bit lodged in her intestines.

Because of the drill bit in her intestines, Neale was given a prescription for Miralax and mineral oil and was instructed to examine her fecal matter to see when and if the drill bit had passed, but to return in three days if it had not yet passed, according to the suit.

Neale claims after three days, she returned to the emergency room and further x-rays were taken in order to see if the drill bit had damaged her intestines and she was instructed to continue with the Miralax and mineral oil and to continue examining bowel movements for the drill bit.

After six days, the drill bit finally passed and Neale had one more emergency room visit to ensure that no remnants of the drill bit remained inside her, according to the suit, but due to the incident, Neale has suffered a sore throat and raspy voice, has been unable to speak as well as before the drill bit was dropped down her throat, and her voice has not yet returned to normal.

Neale claims she had a procedure performed by Dr. Leonard Fichter, which noted that there was evidence of a small linear ulceration in the mid-portion of the esophagus.

Bell was negligent in failing to exercise reasonable care in his treatment of Neale by allowing the drill bit to drop down her throat, according to the suit.

Neale is seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. She is being represented by Kathy A. Brown.

Putnam Circuit Court case number: 12-C-249

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