I went to the dentist last week to replace the filling on my top front teeth and to replace the crown on the back tooth. He replaced the filling in my front teeth and then shortened my front teeth significantly without discussing this procedure with me, why I would need it, what the risk and benefits were and getting my approval to do this. He never told me what he was doing during the entire time he was working on my teeth. When I asked him why he did this he told me that it was for aesthetic purposes and that the edge of my front teeth was getting thin. I told him that I didn’t want my teeth shortened and that we didn’t discuss him doing this and that I was unhappy with what he did to my teeth and I don’t like them now. His response was that when I get unhappy with my teeth, we can discuss putting veneers on them. I told him that veneers are very expensive and unnatural looking to me and I informed him that I did not want veneers because I liked my teeth until he shortened them. Besides the issue of how my teeth look now after he shortened them, my smile has been negatively affected, my jaw alignment is off, I have TMJ pain that is not subsiding, my front teeth are very sensitive and my speech has also been affected. Do I have a case against my dentist?
Except under certain circumstances, dentists may be held liable damages for injuries or death resulting from a procedure performed. It is the dentist’s duty to obtain the patient’s consent before performing procedures, to make sure that the patient understands what it is and the possible effects, and thereafter fully consents to it. Also, the Business and Professions Code of California classifies “clearly excessive treatment, incompetent treatment, grossly negligent treatment” as unprofessional conduct and could possibly be grounds for suspension or revocation of the dentist’s license (Bus. Prof. Code 1685).
If a patient has been subjected to procedures without their prior consent, and such procedure results to personal injuries and damages, it is best to consult with a personal injury attorney. Such lawyer, after thorough study of the facts involved, could better explain the case and statutes applicable, and if there is a case against the professional.