Dr. Rodeghero, 68, was cited in the suit for not providing coverage for the throat, failure to properly secure a surgical bur in a dental handpiece to prevent dislodgement, and not providing Sessa with a patient “informed consent” that presented the potential risk of “the swallowing and/or aspiration of a dental instrument.”

Longtime Clearwater Dentist Sued Twice Recently For Dental Mishaps

Dr. Rodeghero, 68, was cited in the suit for not providing coverage for the throat, failure to properly secure a surgical bur in a dental handpiece to prevent dislodgement, and not providing Sessa with a patient “informed consent” that presented the potential risk of “the swallowing and/or aspiration of a dental instrument.”

CLEARWATER, FL. – In April 2021, a retired businessman sought help for a broken tooth, but wound up in the hospital for emergency removal of a dental drill bit that fell down his throat.

Robert Sessa, 62, retired President of Coastal Alternative Fuel Systems located in Odessa, elected Dr. Paul Thomas Rodeghero, licensed Dentist and Owner of Clearwater Family Dental to pull his broken tooth.

But according to a medical malpractice lawsuit Sessa filed against Dr. Rodeghero on March 22, the dentist failed to provide a dental dam or other throat covering to prevent mishaps that could involve dental instruments.

The lawsuit states, “The defendant…first tried to have the patient cough up the drill bit, but that was not successful. He was then sent to the hospital for emergency extraction of the drill bit from his digestive system.”

The drill bit was removed from Sessa’s small intestine.

Dr. Rodeghero, 68, was cited in the suit for not providing coverage for the throat, failure to properly secure a surgical bur in a dental handpiece to prevent dislodgement, and not providing Sessa with a patient “informed consent” that presented the potential risk of “the swallowing and/or aspiration of a dental instrument.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the dental world has been advised to be sensitive to aerosol effects in the dental environment, as well as be protective against the ingestion of dental instruments, irritants, and debris. Dental dams have been available during the last 150 years of dentistry to provide oral protection for such mishaps. In many cases, dental instruments eventually pass through the patients’ gastrointestinal tracts, but in a few cases, surgical removal has been required.

Dr. Rodeghero was also sued in 2020 for cutting a female patient’s left inferior alveolar nerve, which resulted in permanent neurological symptoms and deficits to her left lip, chin, and gingiva, according to the lawsuit. As of April 6, it is still publicly recorded as an active case.

David G. Eaton of Eaton Law, Tampa, is the Plaintiff’s attorney. The Free Press attempted to communicate with him, but there was no response.

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