3-year-old boy dies during routine dental procedure in Kansas

A 3-year-old Kansas boy died during a trip to the dentist, when he apparently had a reaction to a medication while having some teeth pulled, authorities say.

Little Abiel Valenzuela Zapata was brought by his mom to Tiny Teeth Pediatrics Dentistry in Wichita last week to have the procedure done because of an infection, his mother told local NBC-TV affiliate KSNW.

Abiel cried when he got an injection in the chair, mom Nancy Valenzuela said, but, “I told him, ‘Papi, everything’s going to be OK.

“ ‘You know you’re fine,’ ” Valenzuela said she assured her child.

About 3 minutes after the boy was sedated and the dentist worked on his lower jawline, the child’s pulse began to slow and his cheek swelled up, according to a police incident report, the outlet said.

The boy underwent CPR and was rushed to the hospital but later died.

“We didn’t expect to come out of there without a child,” his grieving mother said.

A Wichita police spokesman told local ABC affiliate KAKE-TV that Abiel likely suffered an allergic reaction.

“It is believed that the child had an unanticipated reaction to medicine provided during the course of his dental procedures,” Officer Trevor Macy told the outlet, adding that there isn’t any criminal investigation in the heartbreaking incident at the moment. 

Abiel Valenzuela Zapata's procedure happened at Tiny Teeth Pediatrics Dentistry in Wichita, Kansas.
Abiel Valenzuela Zapata’s procedure happened at Tiny Teeth Pediatrics Dentistry in Wichita, Kansas.
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The dental practice did not respond to KSNW’s request for comment.

Meanwhile, Valenzuela said, she is left wondering whether she could have done anything to save her boy.

“As a mother, you feel like you failed him because you didn’t do anything to protect him,” she said.

But she said she at least made a vow to her dead son.

“ ‘I couldn’t do anything for you, but I will investigate’ — it’s what I told him,’’ Valenzuela told KSNW. “It’s the only thing I can do and bring awareness.’’

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