There are lots of negligence cases in dentistry. Negligence should not be tolerated for dentists are expected to give standard and genuine care to patients. A thorough, correct, and proper treatment should be given in regards to a patient’s oral health. But still, some dentists tend to neglect proper care and patients will complain about it. Once a filed complaint reaches the Board, you need to be prepared by hiring a dental attorney for the defense and license protection as well.
On June 16, 2014, a 7-year-old minor patient, presented to the dentist’s dental office in Irving, Texas, as a new patient. The dentist took radiographs (x-rays), performed an examination, and took photographs with an intraoral camera.
The dentist did not create a treatment plan for or perform, cleaning or fluoride care. The dentist did not conduct a cancer tissue examination or jaw classification. A follow-up appointment was scheduled for the patient on June 17, 2014, for fillings. During this June 17, 2014 visit, the dentist restrained the patient with a papoose board and performed seven pulpotomies, and placed seven stainless steel crowns on the following deciduous (baby) teeth: tooth A (the upper right second deciduous molar), tooth B (the upper right first deciduous molar), tooth J (the upper left second deciduous molar), tooth K (the lower-left second deciduous molar), tooth L (the lower-left first deciduous molar), tooth S (the lower right first deciduous molar), and tooth T (the lower right second deciduous molar). The dentist also placed one filling on tooth number 19 (lower left first molar) and three sealants on tooth number 3 (the upper right first molar), tooth number 14 (the upper left first molar), and tooth number 30 (the lower right first molar).
According to the patient’s mother, the dentist left the patient for 10 to 15 minutes to treat other patients while the patient was restrained with a papoose board. The patient was screaming while restrained, and the dentist stated that the patient was just acting like a “mama’s boy.”
The patient’s mother did not consent to seven stainless steel crowns and did not sign a written formal consent for the use of a papoose board on the patient.
The above incidents resulted in the dentist’s disciplinary action in that the dentist engaged in unprofessional conduct by committing acts of gross negligence during her care and treatment of the patient. The standard of care for a dentist is to perform all the required components of an initial examination on a new patient, which includes an accurate evaluation of gum tissues, jaw relationship classification, oral cancer screening, taking x-rays and intraoral photographs that are diagnostic and beneficial, providing the patient or the patient’s legal guardian with the required forms, and a treatment plan. The dentist ignored the initial examination requirements during her treatment and care of the patient.
Before the Board came up with the decision of disciplinary action, the dentist was offered to have someone to represent him. But he failed to hire a dental attorney for the case. It will be great if the dentist could have consulted a dental attorney upon facing the Board.
Any dentist should remember to be prepared in case if there are filed complaints regarding issues of negligence. Having a dental attorney will be a game-changer. So if you want help, ask Texas Dental Attorney Yong J. An, who has years of experience in handling dental cases. For further details and to schedule a consultation, you may contact him at (832) 428-5679.