CLAYTON, Mo. (CN) - A dentist needlessly yanked 28 teeth from a 23-year-old patient, the man claims in court.
Skyler A. King sued Mark D. Meyers DDS dba Eat Right Dentures/Same Day Dentures in St. Louis County Court.
King says in the lawsuit that he sought treatment from Meyers on May 7, 2009, for an abscessed tooth.
Meyers told King, then 23, that all of his teeth needed extracting or he would be at risk for fatal blood poisoning, King claims in the lawsuit.
He claims: "That on May 8, 2009, plaintiff returned to defendant's office as directed by defendant and a panoramic X-ray was taken.
"That after viewing the panoramic X-ray and determining from plaintiff's mother that she had a credit card which would pay defendant's stated charges of $5,235.00, and then charging said amount to the card, defendant extracted all thirty two (32) of plaintiff's teeth.
"That plaintiff has subsequently learned that the X-ray showed that plaintiff had at least twenty-eight (28) recoverable teeth imbedded in good bone and gums with a few fillings; and that one of said teeth, the lower right first molar, had a treatable abscess."
King first sued Meyers in St. Louis County in 2010. That case was dismissed without prejudice in 2013.
King refiled his complaint on April 17. King's new attorney, John S. Wallach, told Courthouse News in an interview that according to a deposition taken for the previous filing, Meyers claimed King requested to have all of his teeth pulled.
"The question here is reasonability," Wallach told Courthouse News. "What 23-year-old would want all of their teeth pulled when they know they have teeth in good condition? Who would do that?"
Wallach said that even granting such a request would raise questions about a dentist's role. Wallach compared what Meyers did to an orthopedic surgeon amputating a patient's arm because the arm hurt.
Wallach said he has been practicing medical malpractice law for more than 30 years and had never seen a patient chart as barren as the one Meyers had on King.
"Dr. Meyers didn't take an X-ray of Skyler's mouth until he returned the next day to have his teeth pulled," Wallach said. "Dr. Meyers already made a determination to have the teeth pulled without the benefit of an X-ray."
Meyers has been practicing general dentistry in St. Louis since 1979, according to his website. He is a member of the American Dental Association, Missouri Dental Association and Greater St. Louis Dental Society. He was included in the most recent edition of the Consumer's Research Council of America's "Guide to America's Top Dentists," the website states.
An attorney representing Meyers did not respond to Courthouse News' request for comment.
Wallach said King still suffers from Meyers' actions. Wallach said the dentures didn't fit properly so King is forced to go toothless because he can't afford new dentures.
King claims in the lawsuit that given his young age, dental implants would be the best treatment solution. The cost for implants over King's lifetime is approximately $130,000, the complaint states.
King seeks punitive damages for physical and emotional trauma.
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