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Mother in coma after getting surgery on wisdom teeth

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HILO, Hawaii – A Hawaii mother’s family says she went to the dentist for a routine dental procedure, but never woke up.

She is now in a coma and the family says doctors are waiting and watching to see if they can help her.

Kristen Tavares is a 23-year-old mother of two who went in to have all four wisdom teeth pulled at a dentist’s office in Hilo.

But something went wrong and she reportedly went into cardiac arrest.

Tavares was eventually flown to Maui Medical Center, where her family says she’s unresponsive, and her heart is too weak to do medical procedures.

Family members say more tests are planned, but there is no timeline for her recovery.

Tavares has a 4-year-old son and a three-month-old baby at home that the father’s family is caring for.

The family says Dr. John Stover performed the procedure. He has offices in Hilo, Kona and Waimea, and also does cosmetic surgery.

His website says he is triple board certified and has training, a license and experience in various types of anesthesia.

Court documents show he has been sued for medical malpractice in the past, but it was dismissed.

It’s unknown what caused the emergency in this case.

Dr. Stover did not return our calls or email.

The Hawaii County Police Department is not investigating at this point.


  • greenelephant88

    Pulling out wisdom teeth is a totally medically unnecessary procedure. I still can’t figure out why so many people let dentists convince them to go through with it.

    • Page

      You are incorrect. I had to have all 4 of my wisdom teeth taken out because they were all full bony impactions that led to a massive infection. It was the worst pain ever.

    • Mr. Papageorgio

      You are an idiot. My wisdom teeth were impacted and infected. They had to come out. If you can’t say something with a little common sense, then keep your mouth shut!

      • greenelephant88

        Wow you’re rude. Obviously if someone’s teeth are infected, it makes sense to take them out. But taking teeth out when they’re not infected makes no sense. People all over the world don’t get their wisdom teeth removed and they live with no problems. This is a very bizarre practice that exists in the U.S. You are probably so angry because you’re a dentist yourself and obviously you’d be upset if people started opting out of unnecessary dental procedures that generate huge profits for you (even at the expense of other people’s unnecessary pain.)

  • An Anonymous Apparition

    Some people do not need their wisdom teeth removed, but it is highly recommended in case of impact and infection, it is, far and away, necessary when such happens, I hope you know what you state before the word is out, imbecile.

  • Christie Savoy

    General anesthesia always has the risk of death. Getting wisdom teeth pulled is a necessity for many people but going under general to have it done is not. I had all mine done with local anesthesia. It’s uncomfortable for sure but to me it wasn’t worth the risk of general anesthesia.

  • Mel

    Wisdom teeth are not only removed because of impaction or infection they also are removed for over crowding teeth especially when they need to put braces on! I pray that she recovers from this. God Bless her and her family.

  • Billy

    I hope this mother recovers soon, it’s really not worth it and her family needs her. I’ll be praying for you promise, this is really a very sad story.

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