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Woman Says Teeth Knocked Out During Minor Surgery

DALLAS (CBS11) - A North Texas woman woke up from a minor surgery to find her front teeth knocked out.

After months of fighting to get the hospital's insurance company to pay for the repairs, Gail Tapp called Cristin Severance for Consumer Justice.

Tapp covers her mouth every time she laughs or eats.

"You know, it's a self-conscious thing that I do," said Tapp.

Tapp said doctors at USMD Hospital in Fort Worth told her husband they had accidentally knocked out three teeth while removing her breathing tube after routine bladder surgery.

Her husband, Manuel Dominguez, said he was handed a small box with the teeth inside as doctors assured him the hospital would cover the cost of the dental work.

Because Tapp had a permanent bridge, that work cost close to $15,000.

Her dental insurance covered a small part of it but the couple said they paid for most of the bill. Tapp and Dominguez said USMD refused to reimburse them.

Tapp said she told doctors about the permanent bridge and was never told her teeth could be knocked out. But she did sign documents before the surgery saying she understood the risks of the medical procedure, so USMD's insurance company has denied paying for all that dental work.

Tapp and Dominguez said they fought with USMD for months before reaching out to Consumer Justice.

CBS11 called and emailed Megan Vincent, USMD's Director of Marketing and Communications several times since May 31.

Consumer Justice also visited their corporate headquarters in Irving twice. No one has replied to multiple requests for comment.

Meanwhile Tapp and Dominguez are stuck with an oral surgery bill they never expected. "We want them to pay these bills... we just want them to do the right thing."

Consumer Justice found dozens of similar claims online at hospitals and facilities across the country.

Experts suggest using a dental guard to protect your teeth during a procedure.

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