Gum disease, can I sue?
I booked a consultation at a different dentist for an Invisalign treatment because I have developed a large gap in my front teeth. I thought it was caused by too much space in my mouth, where I had a tooth extraction years ago. I was horrified to find out it was actually caused by gum disease!
I started noticing the pain when I was 25 years old (I'm 33 now). I alerted my dentist in 2017, when I noticed the gap became more prominent. I told her my teeth are moving, but an investigation was never carried out. She did however, suggested I book to see their consultation to get braces done. I did but decided not to get it done because the gap was very small, I could live with it.
At my recent appointment, she's advised me to see a hygienist for a thorough clean, not mentioning anything about gum disease, she mentioned it needed a good clean due to stains and a build up of plaque! I was made to think there was no cause for concern.
I am a smoker, however, I would consider myself a light smoker. I smoke up to 10 times a day and as little as 4 times. As a smoker, I'd make sure I clean my teeth twice a day, I am up to date with all my appointments and so far I have had no fillings. If I was made aware I have gum disease or that it would cause my teeth to shift, I would make sure I visited the hygienist regularly and do every I can to save my teeth! They've never offered me x-ray either, so no proper check has been done. Can I sue for negligence?
- KnightSaber2000Lv 61 month ago
you should know that lawyer's fees and all legal fees in general, are very very expensive.. you have to be absolutely sure before bringing a medico-legal case to a court of law.. i should know, because i was brought as a witness by families seeking damages from my hospital.. and in all of these cases, they were dismissed immediately leaving those families with a huge legal fees to pay.. lawyers are very expensive and they charge by the hour..
only 3 cases were ever settled outside the courtroom throughout my career.. 3 cases among dozens of cases of which i had some involvement in them..
and another thing.. smoking is smoking.. it is like cheating in a marriage, one time or few times is already too many.. unfortunately, someone had set the number of less than 10 times a day to be a light smoker, but whether you are a light smoker (<10 a day), moderate smoker (11-20) or heavy (>20), if you got the illness like gum disease or lung cancer.. it is your fault.. it is your responsibility to know that smoking increases your chances of having gum disease, lung cancer, GIT and stomach issues, skin changes etc etc etc..
now, i can respect the opinion of a dentist - they receive similar education and training about human anatomy, physiology and pathology from their schools like medical doctors receive from their med school.. and under the law, both doctors and dentists are equal in terms of medical liability..
however, a Dental Hygienist is not a dentist.. he/she is not trained as a dentist nor liable for negligence like dentists.. he/she is not trained to diagnose cases like a dentist or a medical doctor does..
think of Hygienists as helpers or assistants to dentists and sometimes to surgeons; you may sue a rich CEO of a company for negligence but not his/her secretary, do you see what i am saying here?..
it is difficult to imagine that a dentist would miss a disease or an illness in the mouth; it would be like an airline pilot misses a giant mountain ahead and slamming the airplane into that mountain.. however, humans are known to make mistakes, and airliners have collided on the side of mountains few times in the past..
but.. if you are a terrorist, and somehow managed to influence the airplane into crashing into the mountains, we can no longer blame the pilot for crashing, can we?you may have a stronger case if you can find a dentist or a medical doctor who would testify on court that this particular dentist was negligent and was at fault.. but this is a very difficult thing to happen..