The routine procedure ultimately caused the loss of her eye, but a standard pair of safety glasses could have saved her vision. A trip to the dentist can cost a bundle, but a New Jersey mom paid an even bigger price after her dentist didn’t follow industry guidelines.
When Jenn Morrone hopped in the chair for a root canal, she didn’t realize she needed eye protection, and her dentist didn’t offer it to her either. But after a needle used for a Novocaine injection fell in her eye, the bacteria from her mouth caused a serious infection that resisted antibiotics and multiple surgeries. Now Morrone wears a prosthetic eye.
“This was 100% preventable, what happened to me,” Morrone told CBS Philly. “If eye protection was worn, we wouldn’t be here and I would still have my vision and my life would be a lot different.”
Both the Centers for Disease Control and the American Dental Association recommend eye protection for all dental patients. Even the spray from standard cleanings can spread dangerous bacteria. But one survey shows 20% of dentists never have clients wear them, and only 6% have patients wear them most of the time.
“I personally do think it should be mandatory,” ophthalmologist Dr. Christopher Brady told CBS Philly. “The bacteria and germs that live inside the mouth are very dangerous inside the eye.”
While Morrone did reach a settlement with the dentist, who must remain anonymous according to the terms, she took away another important lesson. She’s now campaigning for eye protection at the dentist, starting with her Facebook page Jenn’s Vision. “I had to fight back the only way I could,” she said. “And one of the most important things to me was making sure this didn’t happen again.”
[h/t CBS Philly]