Regulators suspend Minnesota dentist's license after teen's death during wisdom tooth removal

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Minnesota state regulators have suspended the license of the dentist who oversaw the wisdom tooth extraction of a teenage patient who later died of cardiac arrest.

The Star Tribune reported the Minnesota Board of Dentistry found that Dr. Paul Tompach, of Edine Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, "failed to appropriately manage a medical emergency, and enabled medical personnel (i.e., an unlicensed dental assistant, licensed dental assistant, and student intern) to perform tasks which exceeded the legal scope of practice." The board’s order stated it “received credible information” to confirm those claims.

Sydney Galleger, a junior at an Eden, Minnesota, high school, died June 15, 2015, after getting her wisdom teeth removed and going into convulsions at the clinic where Tompach worked.

Bridgett Anderson, the board’s executive editor, said Tompach permitted an uncertified dental assistant to monitor Galleger as she received anesthesia, The Star Tribune reported.

According to the newspaper, Tompach declined to comment.

"What started out as a normal day soon turned anything but normal,” Diane Galleger, 17-year-old Sydney’s mother, wrote on a since-closed CaringBridge page that was set up prior to Sydney’s death. “Sydney went in this morning for a simple, common wisdom teeth extraction. All went good until the very end when her blood pressure shot up and her pulse dropped and then she went into cardiac arrest.”

“We are so devastated that this happened to our precious daughter and are still trying to process and make sense of it all,” Diane Galleger had written.

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