Oral Health Group

Dentist seeks U.S. class action suit vs. Nobel Biocare


July 8, 2010
by ken

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Swiss dental implant maker Nobel Biocare has
been sued by a California dentist seeking class-action status on behalf
of dentists whose patients have suffered complications such as bone loss
from one of its products.

A company spokesman said on Monday the NobelDirect dental implant was
safe and that Nobel Biocare would fight the lawsuit, which was filed on
June 30 in the U.S. District court in Los Angeles.

Straumann implant placed in site #14 (maxillar...

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The suit by Jason M Yamada seeks compensation for dentists who have
had to perform surgery on their patients, or pay for restorative
surgery, after complications from the implants, which it said were
defectively designed.

“Because of Nobel’s practices, plaintiff and the class members now
face a flood of complaints from injured dental patients who have needed,and will need,immediate intervention to remove the defective
implants,” the lawyers Lopez McHugh and Audet & Partners wrote in
the 26-page complaint.

The suit proposed a class action to cover thousands of dentists in
the U.S. who have used the NobelDirect implant, adding that Nobel
Biocare had knowledge of the defect, but marketed the implant as safe
and effective.

The Swedish Medical Products Agency investigated the same implants in
2005 to 2006 after complaints about bone loss. The company got approval
to continue sales, but the agency told it to revise instructions and
marketing material.

Nobel Biocare spokesman Nicolas Weidmann said NobelDirect was
probably the most well documented product in the entire industry as a
result of the Swedish investigation, and that it was safe if correctly
used.

“We have very, very comprehensive material and data, including the
clearance from the SMPA in Sweden, that the product is absolutely safe,”
he told Reuters.

“We have the information to prove that NobelDirect is a good product,
is a safe product, and in that respect we will fight against the
lawsuit, definitely.”

(Reporting by Sven Nordenstam, additional reporting by Steve Gorman
in Los Angeles, editing by Will Waterman)

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