Orthodontists, like any other health care professional, are held to certain competency standards with regards to the treatment of patients. When an orthodontist falls short of that standard, then a patient may be able to obtain compensation for the injuries that result.
Orthodontic malpractice can occur in two ways. The orthodontist can make an error or fail to take appropriate action in the treatment of the patient. Injuries that can occur include:
- Braces – an orthodontist may fail to monitor patients with braces properly or incorrectly apply braces. When this occurs the patient may develop periodontal disease, pain, and the incorrect positioning of their teeth. These conditions can result in jaw problems, teeth extractions, and future surgeries or orthodontic treatments to correct the problem.
- Invisalign – incorrect use of Invisalign can result in damage to a patient’s mouth, leading to increased costs to remedy any of the resulting problems.
Before providing treatment, an orthodontist must develop a comprehensive plan of care. This plan is often made in conjunction with the patient’s general dentist or oral surgeon. Imaging studies and study models are needed in creating this plan so that placement and alignment of each tooth can be analyzed and the final outcome determined.
It is important to understand that just because something when wrong during a patient’s orthodontic care, and they were harmed, it does not necessarily mean that the orthodontist is liable for malpractice. Medical and dental procedures all come with a certain amount of expected risk, and complications are not always unusual.
When examining an orthodontic malpractice case, it is important to look at the situation that led to the harm, and determine the appropriate course of treatment and the professional conduct that should have been applied in the situation. Once this is determined, then what the orthodontist did, or did not do, in light of the standard can be gauged. If the orthodontist failed to provide the level of care that a local, similarly-trained orthodontist would have provided under similar circumstances, then the patient may have a claim for malpractice.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of orthodontic malpractice, contact an experienced Kingston, New York medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your case.
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