Toddler Dies Of Dental Procedure; Parents Claim It Was Unneeded, A Money-Making Scheme

A toddler from Texas died from a dental procedure. Her parents claimed the dental procedure was unneeded and the process was just a money-making scheme.

The toddler, identified as 14-month-old Daisy Lynne Torres, died on March 29, 2016. Anesthesia administered for the treatment of tooth decay was found out to be the cause of the death. The parents of the girl just filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

The dentist, Dr. Michael Melanson, told the mother, Betty Squier, that Torres had six cavities. Melanson also initially told Squier there were only two cavities and that it needed filling to prevent infection. He also said the face of the child was at risk of sinking if the cavities were left unfilled, Courthouse News Service reported. He then told Squier they should set up another appointment but did not say anything about what procedures will be done on the toddler.

Another dentist, Dr. David Williams, a mobile anesthesiologist with Texan Anesthesiology, was said to be in the area for the procedure and Squier said he did not talk about what will be done to her daughter or cautioned her about the additional risks of performing the filling. They also refused to let Squier stay inside the room where her daughter was.

Later, the dentist came out and told the mother they did six cavity fillings, four root canals, and placed crowns on the upper baby teeth of the toddler. The dentist went back to the room but re-appeared later and told Squier there were complications and CPR was administered on the toddler. The Emergency Medical Service team came and tried to revive the girl but was taken to a hospital, where she later died.

The two dentists were named in the lawsuit. The Austin Children's Dentistry and Texas Anesthesiology Association were also named in the lawsuit.

A dental examiner's report after the toddler's death questioned why the girl had to undergo such process when there was no indication of any dental disease. The $1 million lawsuit claimed the procedure was just an attempt to bill Medicaid for the unnecessary dental work, Fox News reported. Squier accused the dentist of doing unnecessary work and that he took advantage of the girl as well as the parents who did not know any better.

Dental centers market the process to low-income parents whose children qualify for Medicaid-funded dental exams, added the complaint. The parents seek actual and exemplary damages. 

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