Dentist Suspended After Implant Procedure Leaves Patient with Nerve Injury

Singapore dentist faces disciplinary action for professional misconduct

In a shocking case of professional misconduct, a dentist in Singapore has been suspended for 11 months after a dental implant procedure resulted in a severe nerve injury for the patient. The incident, which occurred five years ago, continues to cause numbness on the patient’s lip and chin. The Singapore Dental Council (SDC) found Dr Kenji Chin Choon Tsze guilty of two charges of professional misconduct. This incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of proper pre-surgery measurements and careful monitoring during dental procedures.

The Initial Consultation and Procedure

On May 22, 2018, a 61-year-old patient, referred to as “Mr DT” in the disciplinary inquiry, sought treatment for a painful tooth from Dr Kenji Chin at the 1728 Dental Practice in Ang Mo Kio. After conducting an X-ray of the jaw area, Dr Chin recommended a tooth implant and the placement of a second implant. The tooth extraction was carried out on the same day, with Dr Chin informing the patient that he needed to return in three months due to insufficient bone height for both implants.

Negligence and Lack of Pre-Surgery Measurements

When Mr DT revisited the clinic on August 4, 2018, Dr Chin conducted another X-ray of the jaw. However, the disciplinary committee found that he failed to take appropriate pre-surgery measurements of the alveolar bone height, relying solely on estimations based on the X-ray images. Despite the discrepancy between the estimated bone height and the actual measurements, Dr Chin proceeded with the tooth implant surgery. Two implants, measuring 10mm and 8.5mm in length, were placed, both significantly longer than the alveolar bone height.

Unfortunate Consequences and Delayed Response

During the procedure, Mr DT experienced pain, leading Dr Chin to slightly unscrew one of the implants. However, an X-ray taken after the surgery revealed that one implant was superimposed on a nerve canal, while the other was just above it. This exposed the patient’s nerve to direct trauma. The disciplinary committee noted that Dr Chin should have recognized the risk of nerve injury based on the X-ray and should have monitored the patient within 24 to 48 hours. Unfortunately, Dr Chin only saw the patient 16 days later when he complained of numbness on his lower right lip.

Subsequent Actions and Refund

Three weeks after the initial procedure, Dr Chin removed one of the implants. In January 2019, he also refunded the treatment fee of $2,200 to the patient. However, these actions were deemed insufficient by the disciplinary committee, considering the severity of the nerve injury and the prolonged effects experienced by Mr DT.


The suspension of Dr Kenji Chin Choon Tsze serves as a stark reminder of the importance of adhering to proper protocols and measurements during dental procedures. The case highlights the need for dentists to exercise caution and diligence to prevent potential harm to patients. The long-lasting effects experienced by Mr DT demonstrate the impact of negligence in dental practice. This incident should prompt a reevaluation of dental procedures and stricter regulations to ensure patient safety and prevent similar incidents in the future.






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