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Dentist suspended after teen's death is allowed to return to practice


The dentist suspended following the death of a teenage girl after wisdom tooth surgery is allowed to return to practice – provided he pays a $12,500 fine and meets several conditions.

Dr. Paul Tompach, of Edina, was suspended last month after a Minnesota Board of Dentistry investigation found he "failed to provide appropriate oral surgery care" when operating on 17-year-old Sydney Galleger, with the board saying his "continued practice would present an imminent risk of harm."

But in a document filed on Friday, it reveals Tompach will keep his license and be allowed to return to practice provided he meets a psychological fitness-for-duty evaluation and agrees to one-on-one consultations with an oral surgeon.

He's also banned from giving patients general anesthesia, nitrous oxide, and any kind of sedation, as well as being ordered to pay a $12,500 fine – half of which needs to be paid in the next year.

Galleger, a junior at Eden Prairie High School, died on June 15 after spending several days in the intensive care unit following the normally routine dental procedure.

During the procedure to remove her four wisdom teeth, the teenager's heart rate dropped, her vitals undetectable and she became unresponsive. She was under general anesthesia at the time.

She died of “anoxic encephalopathy [lack of oxygen in the brain] due to cardiac arrest during dental extraction,” the medical examiner ruled, but her family says they “will never know” why she died.

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