When a Northwest Miami-Dade dentist halted a root canal at the request of a patient and closed up the tooth, he didn’t tell the patient that part of a hand file remained inside the tooth, the state claims.
That’s in the Florida Department of Health’s administrative complaint filed against the license of Alberto Graupera earlier this month. A complaint starts the sometimes ponderous disciplinary process.
A woman who answered the phone at Dr. Dina and Associates in Tamarac on Tuesday afternoon and took a message from a Herald reporter said Graupera worked there currently. Graupera did not return the call.
The root of the problem?
Where Graupera was working on Sept. 25, 2020, isn’t stated in the complaint. His address of record with the Florida Department of Health is in the Country Club of Miami area.
What is stated is that Graupera thought extraction and an implant would be the best course of action on the tooth while the patient still wanted to try a root canal to save the tooth.
“While [Graupera] performed the root canal, a hand file separated in tooth No. 31,” the complaint said. “[Graupera] did not notify Patient J.V. of the hand file separation in tooth No. 31.”
The complaint says Graupera then perforated that tooth.
“Patient J.V. became upset during the procedure and expressed a desire to seek a second opinion,” the complaint says. “[Graupera] placed a seal on the incomplete root canal and Patient J.V. did not return to [Graupera].”
On Oct. 1, 2020, an endodontist “identified a retained hand file instrument” near the tip of the tooth’s root “as well as the perforation of the floor of tooth No. 31’s pulpal chamber.”
Toothpaste manufacturer Colgate-Palmolive explains, “Located beneath the dentin layer (which is the hard tissue right below your enamel) is the pulp chamber, which is the space where your dental pulp lives. Pulp is the soft tissue at the center of your teeth housing connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels.”