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Dental Malpractice - A Violation of Basic Standard of Care

A simple medical or dental procedure can go horribly wrong, when basic standard of care is violated by the doctor or dentist. Due to this, the case of the patient becomes much more complicated, and the remedial measures to correct the original mistake are not only expensive, but can also cause lot of emotional trauma and physical suffering to the patient. This is a classic case of medical malpractice, where the complications could have been avoided if the doctor had not violated basic standard of care.

The Case of a 15-year Old in New York

Violation of basic standard of care by a dentist is clearly demonstrated by this case involving a 15-year-old girl. This girl consulted an orthodontist, since her teeth were crowded and jutting out, which is a dental issue for some teenagers. After a thorough dental examination, the orthodontist found that couple of teeth were extra in the mouth and would have to be removed if braces were to be installed, which would correct the problem.

The orthodontist referred the girl back to her dentist to have the two teeth removed. He clearly stated on paper, instructing the exact teeth that had to be extracted. The orthodontist used the correct dental terminology to indicate the exact two teeth that had to be removed. The dentist extracted two teeth, and after a few weeks after recovering from the extraction, the girl revisited the orthodontist, to have her braces designed and installed.

A Total Dental Screw-up

The orthodontist on examining her teeth found that the dentist had extracted the wrong teeth, which were in fact permanent teeth that never should have been removed. He had clearly instructed the dentist in writing to remove two milk teeth, while the dentist removed two permanent teeth. This was a gross violation of basic standard of care, as any qualified dentist must know what teeth are being referred to in dental terminology.

The dentist did not know basic dental anatomy and pulled out the wrong teeth. In fact, when the dentist was not sure, about the teeth that were being indicated in relation to the girl's mouth, he should have not done anything. He could have consulted a colleague, sent the girl to a dental surgeon, or to any dental professional who had a clear idea about which teeth were being indicated by the orthodontist.

A Terrible Mistake

Due to the wrong extraction, the girl not only lost two permanent teeth, but the correctional procedure became much more complicated. The girl will now not only have to wear extended braces for a very long time, but will also require two teeth implanted into her jaw to compensate for the missing permanent teeth. There is also the risk of the implants failing and the girl requiring additional corrective dental surgery. All this means the girl has to suffer physical and emotional trauma because the dentist violated basic standard of care, expected from any licensed dental professional.

Basic standard care violations usually constitute most of the medical malpractice cases. A dedicated and remarkable lawyer will be able to obtain adequate compensation and damages for the victim.

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