After Mark and Lisa Deel learned in December 2015 that Dr. Amanda Hoover had allegedly performed painful, unnecessary dental work on their son Noah — work other dentists reviewing the case contend has caused permanent damage to a number of Noah's teeth — the family decided to sue Hoover, as we recounted in our cover story last year.
Initially, the Deel family thought they were the only ones who had gone through this. However, since they filed suit against Hoover in Galveston County District Court last August for damages and medical malpractice, a number of people have come forward with similar stories about questionable treatment from Hoover, according to court records.
This has prompted Jim Moriarty, the lawyer representing the Deel family, to amend the lawsuit, expanding it to include more plaintiffs claiming that they received faulty or unnecessary dental work from Hoover. Court records allege that Hoover used "a combination of the same tricks and techniques to get these plaintiffs to agree to extensive and invasive dental work, and to pay her large sums of money for that work immediately."
Hoover has answered all of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit with a general denial, according to court records.
The new allegations against Hoover are much like the initial ones lodged by the Deels. Karissa Jones went to Hoover's practice in November 2014 for a cleaning and an X-ray, according to the court records. She was offered a glass of wine by Brad McGonagle, the office manager and Hoover's husband, "to help her relax."
While she was in the dental chair, Hoover told Jones that she had an abscess and would need to extract the tooth, and then would need an implant to replace the tooth. Jones allowed Hoover to pull the tooth and perform a bone graft at that visit.
In February 2015 Jones went back to Hoover to have the implant post installed. "It was not until [Hoover] had cut open Karissa's gums and drilled a hole in her bone for the implant post that [Hoover] realized she did not have the proper length post," according to court records. Hoover rescheduled the procedure and then went through the whole bit again, slicing open gums and drilling into the bone, but when Hoover placed the post she put it "in close proximity to Karissa's sinus cavity" and then did not take X-rays of the final placement of the post, according to state district court records.
When Jones went back to have an impression done for the crown that would go over the post, Hoover allegedly told Jones that there was some decay under the crown of another tooth and asked to clean it. Jones agreed, but Hoover removed the crown while she was working on it and removed a large chunk of the underlying tooth as well.
Then Hoover told Jones there was too much decay on this tooth and it too would need to be extracted. While she was grinding down the two teeth on either side of the two teeth that were being removed, to prepare for a four-tooth bridge to replace the extracted teeth, Hoover drilled so deeply she damaged the pulp of one of the teeth that did not need to be removed, according to court documents. Jones had to get a root canal on that tooth as well.
Gloria Herrera saw Hoover in April 2015 about a crown on the lower right side of her mouth that was part of a bridge. Hoover told her she needed the crown replaced and then told her on the next visit that the tooth underneath the crown was infected and needed to be cleaned. And then Hoover allegedly convinced Herrera to have three implants put in to replace the bridge. Hoover's office offered Herrera a discount if she agreed to do the work soon, according to the court documents.
A few months later, Hoover extracted two of Herrera's teeth and put in three posts for the implants. When Herrera returned to get her crowns put on, Hoover told Herrera the crowns weren't ready and then told her that she had three broken molars on the top left side of her mouth, two cracked molars on the right and that the front crowns were starting to decay. Hoover offered to do the work to repair it all in a day, saying she would throw in the front crowns for free. Meanwhile it took five months for the crowns Herrera was waiting for to be ready. When they came in, Hoover's assistant purportedly tried to screw them onto the posts and failed multiple times, causing Herrera severe pain.
So far, Moriarty has added eight defendants to the civil lawsuit since it was first filed last year. "Hoover has left a trail of devastation behind her," Moriarty says.
There's no word from the Texas State Dental Board as to whether any of these lawsuits have led or will lead to an investigation or any form of reprimand from the state body that regulates dentists. As we've noted before, the board only reveals an investigation once it is completed if they have found a dentist to be at fault. Spokeswoman Lara Turner has not replied to Houston Press requests for comment on the lawsuits filed against Hoover.
In March Hoover announced via Facebook that she had sold her practice and that she would be working out of another office to finish up any outstanding treatments she was slated to perform on her patients. Since then her practice's Facebook page has been taken down and the number for the Lakes Dental Center has been disconnected.
Hoover has also allegedly left some unpaid bills behind her. About the same time Moriarty updated the Deel lawsuit to include more people, another suit was filed in Galveston County District Court by Denice Anderson of Anderson Dental Labs, claiming that Hoover owes her more than $11,000 for completed lab work that Anderson says Hoover failed to pay for. Hoover doesn't dispute the claim in her response to the court. Instead, she asks the court to dismiss the claim, stating that "the basis of the claim exceeds the jurisdiction of the court." So far there's been no further response on this and the case is still open.
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