Washington state dentist left tool embedded in patient's mouth, health officials say

Clinical Leadership & Infection Control

Officials of the Washington Department of Health charged a local dentist in June with unprofessional conduct, according to The Chronicle.

John Pham, DDS, has been accused of leaving a patient susceptible to further complications after a portion of a dental tool was left embedded in the patient's mouth.

In September 2016, Dr. Pham performed a procedure to remove four molars from a patient. During the surgery, health officials say one of the teeth became displaced and was unable to be removed. Dr. Pham had the patient schedule a follow-up appointment.

During the follow-up in October 2016, Dr. Pham was allegedly unsuccessful at removing the fragments. It was during this time that the dentist discovered a dental tool was "in the bone near the extraction site," health officials say.

The patient returned to Dr. Pham with an infection. Health officials say Dr. Pham "failed to timely refer the patient to a specialist."

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