SKOKIE (CBS) — How did a dental instrument end up in the stomach of an elderly suburban man?
That’s what a lawsuit filed by Skokie attorney Raphael Strzelecki says happened Bernard Bell.
An instrument called a universal dental driver was found in the 92-year-old Bell’s stomach. It’s used to screw in dental implants.
“I don’t think there’s any single individual that goes into a dental office for a dental procedure and expects to walk out with a dental instrument stuck in their stomach,” said Strzelecki, who added that his client was left in “unbelievable pain.”
Bell was getting dental work done by Dr. Toni Ellis Wolf at Old Orchard Smiles in Skokie.
Following x-rays and CT scans and two endoscopies, the instrument was removed.
Strzelecki said the dentist should have taken precautions to prevent the accident, such as making sure gauze was in place to act as a barrier and making sure dental floss was tied to the instrument before it was inserted into the patient’s mouth.
After the accident, Ellis Wolf told Bell to get an x-ray.
An attorney for Ellis Wolf issued a statement that says in part: “The well-being of her patients is and always has been her first and highest concern. She takes all appropriate precautions when caring for her patients. …
“We are confident that when the facts of this case fully come to light, Dr. Wolf will be found to have been a reasonably careful dentist, and not in any way negligent.”
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation says no disciplinary action has ever been taken against Dr. Wolf. She has been licensed to practice dentistry in Skokie since 1979.