Dentistry in HawaiiThe recent death of a 3-year-old girl who went into a coma after visiting the dentist’s office raises questions about the regulation of children’s dentistry in Hawaii and whether the state is doing enough to prevent a similar incident from happening in the future.

The dentist, Lilly Geyer, who operated the now-closed Island Dentistry for Children in Kailua, may have misrepresented herself as a highly qualified practitioner capable of doing intense medical procedures on children.

Based on publicly reported details, several experts interviewed by Civil Beat are also questioning the kinds and amounts of medications that were reportedly used on the 38-pound child.

The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ Regulated Industries Complaints Office is conducting an investigation into the dentist’s office, according to department spokesman Brent Suyama.

He said the department and Board of Dental Examiners won’t comment pending their findings.

The parents of the girl, Finley Boyle, filed a lawsuit in December contending she suffered a cardiac arrest and severe and permanent brain damage after visiting licensed dentist Geyer’s Kailua office to undergo four root canals for 10 cavities at an appointment on Dec. 3. Office staff gave the child improper amounts of medications, including the opioid Demerol, and were ill-prepared to deal with the emergency once she stopped breathing, according to the lawsuit.

Finley died a month later…


Photo Credit: PF Bentley of Civil Beat