COLUMBUS, Ind. — An Indiana dentist says a patient and the patient’s wife are lying about a procedure in which the patient had all of his teeth removed.
During an exclusive interview with WXIN Sunday, Dr. Aaron Strickland, at White River Dental in Columbus, presented a consent form for a full mouth teeth extraction signed by Donny Grigsby March 15. Strickland says Grigsby signed the document with encouragement from his wife, Amanda, before the procedure began.
“The claims that we have got are false accusations,” Dr. Strickland said. “They’re malicious. The whole thing feels like an extraction extortion.”
Donny and Amanda Grigsby, who live in North Vernon, Indiana, have claimed that they were expecting Dr. Strickland to pull four of Donny’s teeth. The couple have said they were seeking a lawsuit against Dr. Strickland.
Strickland’s statement says he started the March 15th appointment by reviewing Donny Grigsby’s medical history and x-rays. The x-rays showed 27 of Donny’s 28 teeth were decayed beyond repair and there was infection throughout his mouth.
“Donny had multiple large cavities in almost every tooth,” Strickland said. “The cavities were so extensive that they were into the nerves of multiple teeth.”
Strickland says he presented two treatment options. The first was series of visits to perform root canals and selective extractions and then replace the salvageable teeth with crowns and/or bridges. The second option would be a full mouth extraction followed by fitting for dentures.
Strickland said Mr. Grigsby asked that his wife come to the treatment room where they discussed the options. Mrs. Grigsby already had dentures herself and urged Donny to have all of his teeth removed. Donny signed the treatment plan and an Oral Surgery Consent Form for a full mouth extraction, Strickland said.
Strickland says he then put Grigsby under a type of anesthesia known as conscious sedation, so he was conscious throughout the procedure.
“Donny’s wife came back and forth between the waiting room and the treatment room multiple times and visited with Donny on different occasions the entire time,” Strickland said.
The Grigsbys have also claimed that Dr. Strickland overdosed during sedation, resulting in an ambulance transport to Columbus Regional Hospital.
Strickland says Donny Grigsby failed to mention his history of being on blood thinners, or his history of blood clotting when filling out his medical history form.
“It would have been good to know if he was on blood thinners, or if he wasn’t on blood thinners because either way it tells us there was some other historical issues going on,” Strickland said. “And neither one was discussed.”
Strickland believes the blood thinners contributed to Donny’s more bleeding than normal during the tooth extractions, and Donny’s oxygen levels dropping when he sat up to use the bathroom.
“When you go to remove someone’s teeth, you don’t want them to have any kind of bleeding disorder,” Strickland said. “How am I supposed to be able to treat someone correctly if I can’t know the full situation going into it?”
“Had Mr. Grigsby been truthful about his past medical history and medications, I would have sent him home with a prescription for an antibiotic and referred him to an oral surgeon for the procedure,” Strickland said.
Until now, Dr. Strickland has been legally prohibited from speaking publicly about the March 15th appointment. But since the Grigsbys made their public accusations, Strickland says his dental office has been losing between 10 and 15 patients per day.
“We’ve lost a significant amount of business,” he said. “We’ve had an employee quit because she couldn’t take it from the media.”
Last week, Strickland obtained legal permission from the Grigsbys to discuss details only from the March 15th appointment. Strickland’s attorney says the Grigsbys have not permitted Strickland to comment on at least three follow-up visits after March 15th. Strickland and his legal team are seeking a court order to allow him to comment in full detail about all of his interactions with the Grigsbys.