Boja Kragulj, an accomplished clarinetist who once performed with orchestras in New York, Philadelphia, and Jacksonville, Florida, has already lost four teeth. And she expects to lose at least a dozen more.
Five years ago, seeking to correct her bite and improve her breathing, Kragulj tried a dental device that she was told would put pressure on her upper palate, lengthening her jawbone to fix her issues without surgery, according to an ongoing lawsuit she has filed in federal court. Kragulj said she discovered the device through Facebook, and it sounded “miraculous.”
What she said happened next was ghastly. Kragulj alleged in her lawsuit that instead of changing her jaw, the device pushed her teeth forward through the bone that anchors their roots in place, which put her front teeth in jeopardy. Dozens of photos provided by her attorney show that over time her teeth bulged out of her mouth, warping her smile into a twisted mess. In the three years since filing her suit, Kragulj has had four unsalvageable teeth removed and two others ground to nubs, she said.
Now Kragulj’s only option is to undergo far more extensive surgeries than she faced before, according to her lawsuit. She described pain when eating anything that must be chewed and sometimes struggles to speak clearly through false teeth. And her livelihood is lost: Despite decades of training, Kragulj recently said she can no longer …