Wearing braces is something many kids (and even some adults) go through to remedy crooked teeth. When done correctly, braces can greatly improve someone’s teeth and boost their self-esteem. However, they don’t go well all the time, which leads to litigation claims.
According to a questionnaire, 9.1 percent of the 77 orthodontics who completed the survey stated they faced lawsuits related to periodontal issues. Below are four examples of orthodontic malpractice:
1. Having a patient wear braces for longer than necessary
People typically need to wear braces for one to three years. There was a case where someone sued their orthodontist after they left the braces on for 11 years.
2. Removing braces too early
Taking off a patient’s braces too soon is just as bad as leaving them on for several years. If an orthodontist removes an individual’s braces before the treatment ends, the teeth will likely revert to their original state and create new dental problems.
3. Implementing incorrect use of Invisalign
Some patients opt for Invisalign because it allows them to straighten their teeth without possessing a “metal mouth” appearance. Invisalign works wonders when used properly. That said, improper use of Invisalign contributes to misalignment or staining.
4. Failing to supervise dental assistants
Orthodontists need to oversee what dental assistants are doing, especially if they’re novices. For instance, an orthodontist can’t just walk away to chat on their cell phone while their dental assistant is attempting to fit a patient’s braces.
What if said dental assistant gets confused on a step but can’t access help because the orthodontist is away? Attempting to figure it out themselves and hoping for the best is a lawsuit waiting to happen.
Orthodontists can prevent malpractice suits by conveying clear care guidelines and following up on patients. Regardless, accidents can still occur. If you or a family member had an orthodontic treatment that didn’t go as planned, reach out to experienced legal assistance for help.