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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 or about November 6, 2014, a patient sought a consultation with a dentist who was employed as a General Dentist at a dental clinic in Odessa, Texas during the relevant time.

On or about November 6, 2014, the dentist performed an initial consultation for the patient, including a panoramic x-ray. The dentist’s notes indicate that a comprehensive exam was done. However, the dentist’s records do not indicate that the dentist took and recorded periodic full-mouth periodontal examinations, including periodontal probing, charting (bleeding on probing and plaque index), and recording of inflammation, suppuration, and recession. The dentist also failed to make an appropriate diagnosis, marking the risk factors and etiology.

The dentist alleged that she informed the patient of the risks of failure of the implant, including the risk of sinus perforation, bone fractures, and failure of implant over time if the patient is a smoker or the periodontal disease persists. The dentist alleged that the patient elected not to seek the specialist opinion and instead opted for the course of treatment the dentist provided because she could not afford the added costs of an oral surgeon. On or about November 6, 2014, the patient verbally consented to the course of treatment and completed an Informed Consent Form.

On or about January 15, 2015, the dentist performed oral surgery on the patient, placing implants on tooth #13. On or about May 2015, the patient returned to the office, and a Pariapical X-Ray was taken. The dentist documented that “integration is not ideal for the crown to root ratio that will be needed for the restoration. Stability is good.” Despite clear evidence of peri-implantitis, there is no indication that the dentist considered, or made a referral to, a periodontist/oral surgeon at this point.

On or about July 28, 2015, the dentist took an impression and performed a periodic oral evaluation for the patient, but no X-Ray was taken. On or about August 13, 2015, records indicate that the crown was delivered. Although the dentist took a periapical X-Ray, the record does not show that she recorded any notes on this date. This lack of documentation was a violation of the required standard of practice.

In the intervening time, the implant on tooth #13 failed. On or about September 8, 2015, the dentist removed the implant and performed a bone replacement graft on tooth #13. The patient alleged that the dentist also damaged tooth #12, which later required an extraction as a result of the previous surgeries on tooth 413.

As a result of the above incident, the dentist has subjected her license to disciplinary action in that the dentist was repeatedly negligent in the care and treatment of the patient. Where the dentist failed to perform a complete examination after taking radiographs, failed to provide a periodontist referral where it is indicated, and properly document treatment.

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.