Dancing Dentist Nearly Blinds Patient

A dentist, Dr. Trusty, was drilling on a patient and dancing to the tune “Car Wash” on the radio, when the drill bit snapped off and got caught near her eye. The doctor then tried to use a metal hook to get it out but only drove it further into the sinus and bone, according to the lawsuit. Trusty told the patient that she would probably sneeze the bit out. Doctors later said that if she had, she would have likely become blind in one eye. The patient is now suing Dr. Trusty for $600,000 in medical expenses, pain, and suffering.

Patient Says Dancing Dentist Misstepped [AP via Consumerama]
(Photo: DCvision2006)


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  1. darkened says:

    Can even trust a Trusty these days

  2. mexifelio says:

    I’m sure it would have been much funnier had she had just chosen the gas instead of the needle like he recommended.

  3. indiie says:

    what is it with dentists’ weird names? There is one in my city named “Dr. Hurt”…. I would never go there. My last dentist’s name was Softly.

  4. Electroqueen says:

    Why the eff would anybody listen to the radio during a dangerous procedure that requires utmost concentration? If there’s one thing we can trust that dentist on, it’s danger.

  5. Bay State Darren says:

    The article’s dated 11-02 and this story made Fark around then. Consumerist is running a little slow on this!

  6. scarletvirtue says:

    @indiie: There was an orthodontist in St. Louis named “Dr. Sueme”. Yeah, I’d probably avoid him/her!

  7. babaki says:


  8. Okay, I almost vomited.

  9. timmus says:

    I’m all for malpractice suits plus a bit for pain and suffering, but $600,000? That’s what gives malpractice suits a bad name.

  10. Rando says:

    600,000 isn’t nearly close to what they could actually get

  11. JPropaganda says:

    I prefer the headline “Dentist’s Disco Dancing Drilling Disaster”

    But that just me

  12. ttpmx says:

    @indiie: Heh, that’s funny. My former dentist’s first name was “Reamer”.

  13. Three Word Chant says:

    [singing] Blind at the car wash, car wash yeah

    Trusty indeed!

  14. JayXJ says:

    @indiie: I went to a Dr. Grave a few years ago. Eek!

  15. ludwigk says:

    @Electroqueen: If it was not a complicated procedure, and one that the dentist had performed 1000’s of times, then it is probably irrelevant that the music was playing and that he was dancing.

    This was probably a highly random accident caused by metal fatigue in the drill bit which made the shaft unusually brittle, or something along those lines.

    Patient should sue, and malpractice should cover it, and life should go on.

    Hope the patient is OK. Having a drillbit in the eye sounds awful.

  16. jadbalja says:

    My brother in law had his vasectomy done by a urologist named Richard Chopp (think about it). No, really:


  17. joebloe says:

    It could have happen to any dentist whether he was dancing or not.

  18. loganmo says:

    I don’t knoe about the dancing, but surgeons frequently having music playing in operating theaters without incident.

    Maybe this story can form a subplot in a sequel to Little Shop of Horrors.

  19. Murph1908 says:

    Patient should sue, and malpractice should cover it, and life should go on.

    If ‘life should go on’ means ‘malpractice insurance costs should rise, leading to further increases in health care costs, causing millions to not be able to afford insurance, promoting efforts to turn the US into a socialist nation, leading to it’s fall like socialist nation before it’ then you are correct.

    The woman is not blind. $600,000 for pain and suffering is excessive.

    Accidents happen. If being the victim of an accident continues to be viewed as a winning lottery ticket, we’re in deep trouble.

    Instead of screaming for national health care, let’s fix the problems with the system we have…which is an excellent system that provides the best care in the world. Remember SARS? Nasty little bug that was an epidemic in cities as close as Toronto. What US city had a SARS panic? Not one.

  20. camille_javal says:

    @randotheking: exactly – that’s the way the adversarial system works – you always ask for more than you actually need. Although, mind you, depending on how good the patient’s medical insurance is, those bills could get pretty damn high (if, for example, she has to have surgeries on her sinuses).

  21. Murph1908 says:

    Damn. its fall
    Please cancel the 911 to the grammar police. Thanks.

  22. Murph1908 says:

    close tag

  23. camille_javal says:

    @Murph1908: Again, she won’t get it. In fact, most of the huge jury awards you hear about (including the McDonald’s suit)? Significantly lowered by a judge afterwards.

  24. MauriceReeves says:

    My brother-in-law went to see a Dr. Paine for his vasectomy. Yeah, no thanks doc.

  25. Gopher bond says:

    My dentist always gives me goggles to wear, even for cleanings. Sounds like this guy is a fruitcake.

  26. Beerad says:

    “Sneeze the bit out?” I think that’s the most alarming part of the story.

  27. Myron says:

    @Murph1908: Clearly you have it all figured out. Please call you congressional representative and inform them you have a fix for our health care system. We are all very grateful.

    Oh, and please inform the mutilated woman you have assessed her situation and have determined fair compensation for her medical bills and suffering. I’m sure she will be grateful as well.

  28. theblackdog says:

    I get advertisements for a dentist named Dr. Weiner.

    I think I would be afraid to be put under the gas with that doctor.

  29. Klink says:

    At least he didn’t assault the patient over a parking space :-)

  30. cashmerewhore says:

    My 3 hour surgery to clean out the gunk from chronic infections in the same sinus cavity this drill bit landed it was billed at $25K. Yup, twenty five thousand dollars. That’s not including any post-op care. And nobody put a hole in my maxillary sinus cavity through my gums at any point in time.

    I can see this being a pretty pricy surgery.

  31. @Murph1908: “leading to it’s fall like socialist nation before it”

    Yes, all those fallen, failed countries like Norway, the UK, Germany, Switzerland …

  32. kc-guy says:

    and Canada…ummm, nevermind.

  33. bbbici says:

    Uh, the article doesn’t claim that dancing had anything to do with the drill head snapping off. But yeah, i hope she wins the lawsuit, because dentists make way too much money.

  34. Imaginary_Friend says:

    Actually, yes it does. The very first line of the article says, “A dentist was dancing to a song on the radio while drilling on a woman’s tooth, and she wound up in the hospital when the drill bit snapped off and lodged near her eye, a lawsuit alleges.”

    Everyone knows “Car Wash” is an irresistible booty-shaker. Dr. Trusty should have taken off his roller skates first.

    My dentist listens to country. He hums and sings along, but there’s absolutely no bopping going on. ;)

  35. Imaginary_Friend says:

    Ignore that, BBBICI. I misread your post.

  36. Charles Duffy says:

    @MauriceReeves: It gets better. I’m a patient of Dr. Richard Chopp.

  37. Trai_Dep says:

    At least if the dentist was dancing to Tiësto, the patient would have gotten free glow sticks, a Dr Suess hat and a pacifier.

  38. alexanderpink says:

    @Electroqueen: Actually surgeons often listen to music during surgery. It’s the dancing that was the problem it seems. He just wasn’t paying attention.

  39. z1rdarryl says:

    The dentist should be sues
    Loose his licence
    and be deported to iraq