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Texas Toddler Dies After Routine Dental Procedure

A Texas couple is devastated and desperate for answers after their 14-month-old daughter died from complications during a fairly common dental procedure.

Betty Squier took her daughter Daisy Lynn Torres to see a pediatric dentist to deal with two cavities on March 26. During the procedure, the dental office found four more cavities and asked Squier if she wanted them to fix the cavities while they already had her there. Squier had been nervous about sedating her daughter, but thought it was the best option to get the cavities fixed safely and quickly.

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The dental office, Austin Children’s Dentistry, confirmed to local news outlets that a doctor and an anesthesiologist were present during the procedure. Squier said she was told to wait in the waiting room during the procedure, which was supposed to take 40–45 minutes.

After they began working on the four cavities, they called Squier back to the exam room because Daisy Lynn wasn’t doing well. Initially, they told her that her daughter had stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest and so they performed CPR. They told Squier that they called EMS to monitor the girl’s health as standard procedure.

But when EMS technicians arrived, they told Daisy Lynn’s mom to give her a kiss goodbye before the put her in the ambulance, Squier told local NBC news affiliate KXAN-TV.

At that point, Squier said, she knew her daughter wasn't going to make it. It’s not clear what went wrong during the procedure, but Daisy Lynn died about five hours after being rushed to the hospital by ambulance.

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Elizandro Torres, the girl's father, told KXAN that the couple’s son keeps looking for his sister and telling them she’s coming back. Torres said Daisy Lynn brought so much joy to their family that they wanted to keep that happiness alive for their son, who doesn’t yet understand that Daisy Lynn isn’t coming back.

While they plan the girl’s funeral, the family is awaiting details on what went wrong from the medical examiner and hoping to get some clues as to why their daughter tragically died during a routine dental procedure. The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners is also investigating the girl’s death.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that dental decay in young children be treated, and best practice guidelines allow for use of general anesthesia with children who may be too young to hold still during dental procedures. The other option pediatric dentists can use is a Papoose board, which helps to hold the child's head in place with a strap restraint. However, some experts believe that the Papoose board can cause psychological trauma in children.

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