Former Hawaii dentist testifies in manslaughter trial

HONOLULU — A former dentist on Oahu accused of manslaughter in the death of a 3-year-old patient said she did everything she could to save the child.

Lilly Geyer, 41, told a Hawaii jury Thursday that she directed her dental assistants to call 911 and to get help from a pediatrician across the hall after Finley Boyle’s oxygen level started dropping.

The trial began last month for Geyer, who is accused of recklessly causing Finley’s death after her visit to Island Dentistry for Children in Kailua in December 2013. She died a moth later.

Honolulu Chief Medical Examiner Christopher Happy previously told the court that Finley likely died because of the sedatives given during the dental procedure. The immediate cause was from an infection from being on a ventilator while she was in a coma, he said.

Finley’s mother had taken her to dentist for baby root canals on several teeth. Geyer said she started on the upper teeth and was about to work on the lower ones when Finely stopped breathing. She said she did everything she was trained to do, noting she got certified for pediatric advanced life support every two years.

“Every single person that was involved tried their best. We all did,” Geyer said.

Following the death, Geyer said she searched for the cause and later learned from her indictment that Finley had been diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection that wasn’t disclosed.

“When that came up, my heart sank (because) I knew that was the cause,” Geyer told the court.

If she had been told about the diagnosis, she would have delayed the procedures, she said.

Defense witnesses previously testified that lingering effects of the infection caused the child’s vocal cords to close under sedation.

Witnesses for prosecutors said Finley showed no signs of infection.

  1. harry oyama November 17, 2018 7:39 pm Reply

    This article does not mention the excessive trauma this dentist did to this little girl by over working her teeth. Looks like her main objective was to make as much money possible with so much dental work done at one time. She the dentist deserves to spend at least 15 years behind prison bars for her greed and selfish motives. Don’t play that innocent game which was probably told by her lawyer to do so in order to sway the jury should it come to trial.

  2. Charlie Chimknee November 18, 2018 8:57 am Reply

    Aloha Kakou,

    It would seem that multiple Root Canals, in both the upper and lower teeth in a single office visit necessitating prolonged sedation may have been too stressful for a 3 year old, considering “how often have you ever heard of an adult receiving numerous Root Canals at a single visit”.

    For sedation of a 3 year old to have occurred over the period of time it takes for multiple Root Canals in just the upper teeth and considering the lower teeth to be next seems to be much for a child.

    How does a 3 year old’s multiple amount of teeth decay so rapidly by the age of 3 to need so many Root Canals. We are not born with teeth in the first place, and we all need several months even before the primary teeth come in, assuming the 3 year old’s teeth having the Root Canals were the primary teeth those teeth couldn’t have been in her mouth for more than 3 years and perhaps even less.

    Important to ask is what were the parents feeding the child that allowed extensive dental decay to occur in such a short period of time?

    Teeth are nourished internally by what are called Dentine Tubules. Adults on average have in length 300 yards (3 football fields long) of Dentine Tubules in each tooth. The Dentine Tubules bring to our teeth all the nutrients necessary to each tooth in a child or an adult to make and keep the teeth healthy. These Dentine Tubules are like our blood vessels that carry nutrients to our body.

    While a 3 year olds teeth are much smaller than adult teeth, there may be as many Dentine Tubules but they would not have the same diameter nor length as an adult tooth because of the comparative size of child and adult teeth.

    Whether it is primary teeth or secondary teeth of children or adults having a Root Canal done on one tooth, much less several in one day, or over several years, the drilling out of the core of the canal of the Nerve root, and the surrounding Dentine Tubules, destroys both the vital Nerve of the tooth and also it’s Dentine Tubules irregardless of the age of the tooth or whether it was primary, or a secondary tooth in adulthood.

    A painful tooth and the decay of the tooth found on X-Ray is what leads a dentist to Root Canal a tooth.

    A Root Canal destroys both the tooth’s vital Nerve, making the tooth pain free after the procedure, and destroys the Dentine Tubules as well eliminating the vascular nourishment to the tooth that would have been brought by those destroyed Dentine Tubules.

    Many dentists recommend against (expensive) Root Canals (and crown put on the tooth), because the Root Canal procedure literalLy kills the tooth and the tooth turns black from death of the tooth, and then the black dead tooth is hidden by the dental crown.

    An analogy to a Root Canal and destruction of the Dentine Tubules from the drilling out of the core of the tooth, would be like having arm pain and the doctor drilling out the nerves in your arm all the way up into your neck, and at the same time destroy many of the blood vessels in your arm. Seems unreasonable and excessive yet Root Canals are done millions of times per year in dental offices.

    On the one hand drilling out the nerves and blood vessels in your arm would be considered barbaric, on the other hand it is considered modern Dentistry.

    Teeth decay from both the inside (involving the dental nutrients delivered by the Dental Tubules); and the outside via unhealthy teeth allowing bacteria in the mouth and on the teeth, as well as an acidic environment of the mouth (below a pH of 7), as well as having a dry mouth (very little to no saliva, saliva allows the mouth to be slightly alkaline with a pH of 7 or slightly above to 7.5 pH) to demineralize and the surface of the tooth’s enamel to breakdown and allow a cavity (a hole) in the enamel and the beginning of the external tooth decay process.

    Notice, decay is a process and all processes take time, keep in mind you and your children do better with daily vigilance to prevent cavities on your teeths’ surface and the internal decay from lack of food nutrients with infection and inflammation ensuing, and then the pain of which leads people to dentists and dentists to do the expensive and relatively quick Dentine Tubules and Nerve destructive Root Canal.

    For a 3 year old child to require multiple Root Canals, with X-Rays showing the need for those Root Canals, especially in a single day during prolonged sedation, has a cause and responsibility that needs to be shared by the parents as well. If the parents had taken better care of the child’s teeth maybe none of this would have ever happened.

    But since few people reading this are aware of the mechanism of a Root Canal or dental decay or the prescience and function of Dentine Tubules, much less the Main Nerve of a tooth, it is a little difficult to find fault in ignorance of the parents…the fault lies partially in the Educationional System that fails to teach our youth about their bodies and allow them to unnecessarily abuse themselves by foods and drinks that are self abusive, not to mention alcohol, tobacco, drugs, meds, and now E-Cigarettes(?). Had the parents when they were students had such an education, including about their teeth, this tragedy could have possibly been avoided.

    You would think doctors and dentists and chiropractors would insist on childrens’ Educations to include health of their bodies, teeth, and neuro-spines.

    There is an exhausting amount of chemicals put in our foods today that are not nutrients, so why are these chemicals put in our foods, when so many are known to cause illnesses both new to society and rapidly occurring in the population ( including dental problems).

    Foods today are made to look attractive at a loss of nutrients. Foods are made to provide “explosive” tastes instead of subtle tastes of nutrients and satisfaction of hunger. Foods at the expense of nutrients (think bodily and dental) are grown, manufactured, and packaged to stay looking like food when they are long dead or rotted and should have been thrown away already.

    Apples decay in so many days or weeks, but a GMO apple can look edible for more than 6 months, at which time much of the nutrients are long gone. Of course the food industry (now called Big Food) is supposed to operate at Profit, but it should not be at the expense of our HEALTH.



  3. Charlie Chimknee November 18, 2018 9:29 am Reply

    May I add to my comment, that the medical examiner said the child died from an infection while on a respiratory ventilator.

    That’s another not supposed to happen situation.

    A sweater is made of many threads, this tragedy is made of many threads.

    Prayer for little Finley…


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