Brandy Fanning, 31, of Syracuse in northwestern New York state, said she had to spent three days in the hospital because of the mishap. Fanning said she still suffers facial swelling, nerve damage and chronic infections from the bacteria that seeped into her sinus cavity, The Syracuse Post-Standard reported Friday.
Fanning is seeking $600,000 (Ђ414,393) for her medical expenses, pain and suffering in the lawsuit filed against Dr. George Trusty last month.
Trusty, 57, a dentist at Syracuse Community Health Center, declined comment. Dr. Ruben Cowart, president and chief executive officer of the health center, also declined to speak about the incident.
Fanning said she went to the emergency dental clinic in October 2004 after pain in a left molar started getting worse.
Trusty gave her some anesthetic and while he was drilling to break the molar into quadrants before the extraction, Fanning heard a snap, the lawsuit states.
As Trusty was doing the procedure, he was "performing rhythmical steps and movements to the song Car Wash," which was on the radio in the dental suite.
Trusty tried to use a metal hook to pull the bit out, but that only pushed it farther up, driving it through the sinus and bone, the lawsuit alleged. When Fanning asked what was happening, Trusty told her it was not a big deal and that she would likely sneeze the drill bit out, the lawsuit said.
She then expressed alarm and Trusty called an oral surgeon, who was a friend, to get Fanning an appointment. Trusty made the call in front of Fanning. When he got off the phone, he told her she needed to get to an emergency room immediately, according to the lawsuit.
Fanning said doctors told her later that if she had sneezed with the bit still inside, she could have blinded her left eye.
Fanning claimed she sued Trusty because he failed on a promise to pay her medical bills.