When Excessive Dental Treatment Leads To Dental Board Action
When a patient goes to the dentist, they want to get their teeth cleaned and fixed effectively. They want to get the necessary treatment, but who wants to spend tens of thousands of dollars?
An unethical dentist will order excessive treatment with a high cost. That was what a celebrity dentist did. The dental board ultimately determined that the celebrity dentist had provided substandard care and violated the profession’s ethical obligations.
A patient consulted a dentist who practiced general dentistry with advanced training in cosmetic procedures. This dentist had widespread media exposure and was well-known as a celebrity dentist. The patient chose this dentist based on the amount of publicity.
During the initial evaluation, the dentist repeated the patient’s medical history, initial examination, x-rays, and photos prior to treatment. The second assessment showed that the patient had decay on 45 dental surfaces, tooth fractures on 77 surfaces, and 31 worn-down teeth.
The patient agreed to undergo the restorative procedures, which cost $47,000. The patient was not satisfied with the restorations and suffered from constant pain. Five additional dentists examined the patient and all agreed that the procedures performed by the celebrity dentist were below the standard of care. The ongoing pain led to gum surgeries, multiple root canals, and significant weight loss. The additional examinations and treatment cost $63,000.
The patient was upset and pursued a professional liability claim against the celebrity dentist. They also filed a complaint with the state’s dental board, as they felt what the celebrity dentist ordered was much too excessive. The patient’s dental record supported only the recommendations of veneer treatment on 11 teeth, crowns to nine teeth, a bridge on three teeth, laser treatment on six teeth, and one implant. The treatment the patient received was unnecessary. The dentist failed to address the patient’s complaints of pain and has been accused of excessive treatment, repeated acts of negligence, and unprofessional conduct.
It was determined that the dentist violated each of the five fundamental principles of the American Dental Association (ADA) Code: patient autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, justice, and veracity. Dentists can avoid this same situation by:
- Performing tests and treatments that are reasonable and necessary.
- Following state regulations related to advertising and dental practices.
- Representing credentials clearly and accurately.
- Never altering or destroying dental records.
- Referring to the ADA Code for guidance on professional conduct.
Keep Your License With Help From a Tampa Dentistry License Lawyer
When it comes to any type of dental or medical treatment, it’s best to be right in the middle: not too little and not too much. However, this can be difficult to determine, as there can be some gray areas.
When a dentist neglects a patient or goes overboard, it can lead to an unethical situation. If you are in this situation, contact a Tampa dentistry license lawyer from The Law Offices of David P. Rankin, P.A. Schedule a consultation today. Call (813) 968-6633 or fill out the online form.