Editor's note: A previous version of this story misspelled Donny Grigsby's name.
COLUMBUS, Ind. -- Last month, Donny Grigsby went to White River Dental expecting to have four teeth removed. Instead he lost a lot more.
Grigsby's wife Amanda says after five hours in the waiting room, she demanded answers. She learned the dentist had decided to pull all of her husband's teeth because of an infection they were afraid would spread.
Amanda also says her husband was covered in blood and unresponsive. He coded twice in an ambulance on the way to the hospital and had to be revived.
"He had been put into a medically induced coma, and he was laying there crying," Amanda said.
Grigsby remembers very little, but says he'll never forget when it all sunk in.
"I am so ashamed now. I have no teeth," he said.
Grigsby says he's using an oxygen tank because he still has blood clots as a result of the work. And, he says, he still doesn't know why his teeth were taken.
White River Dental declined to make an office manager or dentist available to comment for this story.
On Saturday, Karen Cantou Consulting sent the following statement on White River Dental's behalf:
Dr. Aaron Strickland of White River Dental in Columbus, Indiana states that due to HIPPA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, he is unable to respond to media about any patient allegations directed toward himself or his dental practice without express written consent from the patient or patient representative. The law does however permit him to utilize specific, case related, patient information in order to defend him should litigation ever arise.
“Every patient and issue is different and we evaluate each and every part of the oral cavity and the health of the patient before presenting a treatment plan. I assure you that every patient and/or legal guardian has the treatment explained to them thoroughly, and all the proper consent forms are signed prior to any treatment being performed on any patient at White River Dental. I, as well as all of our well trained staff, strive in every situation to make sure the patient and/or legal guardian understands all issues that may arise prior to accepting the treatment plan, as well as making sure they understand our due diligence in securing positive final results,” said Strickland.
Dr. Strickland states that he was born with a congenital birth defect that has resulted in 18 oral related surgeries. “Because of my own dental history, it has been my life goal to be the best dentist I can possibly be and to treat my patient in the way that I want to be treated,” he said.
“Thus far, we have contacted the patient seeking an authorization to release information to the press to respond to the patient’s allegation.
He declined to do so without authorization from his attorney. We then contacted the attorney that he identified that may be handling his case. The attorney then indicated she had not accepted the case, but did agree to review our treatment records to decide whether to take the case.
Earlier today, we provided all treatment records to the attorney and after reviewing them, she notified White River Dental’s attorney that she will not be representing the patient.
Unless the patient signs the authorization, that leaves us no alternative but to seek a court order authorizing us to respond to these defamatory allegations.
Our client has authorized the attorneys to prepare the pleadings to get such an order.”