Alabama Disciplines Three Dentists Who
Performed Sargenti Dental Procedure

Stephen Barrett, M.D.


Alabama dentists Donald Porch, David Yokley, and Miriam Perdomo-Watts have been disciplined for "gross negligence" in connection with their use of the Sargenti root canal technique. Root canal therapy can often save a tooth when its soft inner tissues become damaged. During the treatment, these tissues are removed and the space is filled with a substitute material. Standard root canal therapy uses gutta percha, which is inert, but some dentists use an unapproved paste that contains paraformaldehyde, which can severely damage the surrounding tissues if extruded beyond the tip of a root. The Alabama board's action was triggered by a complaint from a patient—Lorrie Hellier (current name Lorri Kruse)—who suffered an injury of this type. The case was resolved with consent agreements under which:

The patient is also suing the trio, charging that they did not inform her of the risks and tried to conceal the nature of her injury.

 

IN THE MATTER OF:

DAVID YOKLEY, D.M.D.
LICENSE NO.: 3476

DONALD PORCH, D.M.D.
LICENSE NO.: 3357

MIRIAM PERDOMO, D.M.D.
LICENSE NO.: 5105

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BEFORE THE BOARD OF

DENTAL EXAMINERS OF ALABAMA

NOTICE

TO: Donald Porch
David Yokley
Mariam Perdomo
115 Rainbow Drive
Madison, Alabama 35758

Pursuant to the provisions of Code of Alabama (1975), § 34-9-24 and § 41-22-12{a) and (b), you are hereby notified and requested to appear before the Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama on Nov 3, 2006 at 1:00 p.m. at the office of the Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama, 5346 Stadium Trace Parkway. Suite 112, Hoover, Alabama 35244, and from time to time thereafter as may be directed by the Board for the purpose of a hearing to determine whether or not you should be subject to or have imposed against you one or more of the penalties outlined in Code of Alabama (1975) § 34-9-18(b) in that it is alleged that you have been guilty of the following to-wit:

COUNT 1

Gross negligence in the practice of dentistry in violation of Code of Alabama (1975) § 34-9-18(a)6) regarding Dr. Miriam Perdomo's treatment of Lorrie Hellier based upon any or all of the following:

(a) Using Sargenti material or paste containing paraformaldehyde in the performance of a root canal on tooth #18.

(b) Using Sargenti material or paste containing paraformaldehyde in the performance of a root canal on tooth #18 when the referenced material was not approved by the Federal Drug Administration and/or when the use of the referenced material was considered unsafe and/or ineffective; or

(c) Using Sargenti material or paste containing paraformaldehyde in the performance of a root canal on tooth #18, overfilling the canal(s), causing pain and numbness to the mouth, chin and/or lip of this patient causing nerve injury and/or by causing her to seek remedial treatment from an endodontist or oral surgeon; including but not limited to steroid medications and the removal of the material from the patient's mouth.

COUNT 2

Gross negligence in the practice of dentistry in violation of Code of Alabama (1975) § 34-9-18{a)(6) as to Drs. Porch, Yokley and Perdomo by failing to provide a pretreatment x-ray of tooth #18 upon the request of Lorrie Hellier.

COUNT 3

Gross negligence in the practice of dentistry in violation of Code of Alabama (1975) § 34-9-18(a)(6) as to Drs. Yokley and Perdomo regarding your treatment of Lorrie Hellier based upon any or all of the following:

(a) Informing the patient that the cause of her pain and numbness following a root canal on tooth #18 was an injection rather than from the overfill of the canal(s) as a result of the manner in which the root canal procedure was performed and/or the use of Sargenti material or paste containing paraformaldehyde

COUNT 4

Gross negligence in the practice of dentistry in violation of Code of Alabama (1975) § 34-9-13(8)(6) as to Drs. Porch, Yokley and Perdomo regarding the treatment of Lorrie Hellier based upon either not informing her prior to treatment that the Sargenti material or paste containing paraformaldehyde was to be used, by failing to obtain consent or inform the patient of the known risk and problems associated with the use of this material and/or by allowing the use of this material in their dental practice.

COUNT 5

Gross negligence in the practice of dentistry in violation of Code of Alabama (1975) § 34-9-18(a)(6) relating to Dr. Donald Porch's treatment and/or consultation with Lorrie Hellier by telling her no other endodontic materials were approved by the Federal Drug Administration and/or that Sargenti material or paste containing paraformaldehyde was the only one that was close when, in fact, Gutta Percha is an approved endodontic material by the Federal Drug Administration.

At the aforesaid time and place and from time to time thereafter as may be directed by the Board, you may be represented by an attorney, if you so desire, cross-examine all witnesses who testify against you and present such evidence in your own behalf in response to these charges as you consider necessary and appropriate.

Notice is further given that the hearing in this cause will be conducted pursuant to the provisions of Cede of Alabama (1975), § 41-22-12 and § 41-22-13 and Rule 270-X-5.05 of the Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama. Pursuant to that Rule, the Board may at its discretion appoint some person to act as a hearing officer at this hearing.

Dated this 15th day of August 2006.

BOARD OF DENTAL EXAMINERS
OF ALABAMA

______________________
Donald H. Busby, D.M.D.
President of the Board of Dental
Examiners of Alabama

______________________
James S. Ward
Attorney for the BOARD OF
DENTAL EXAMINERS OF ALABAMA
WARD & WILSON, L.L.C.
2100 Southbridge Parkway, Suite 580
Birmingham, Alabama 35209
(205) 871-5404

This page was revised on November 3, 2013.

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