HomeLegal NewsBengaluru District Consumer Forum holds Dentist negligent

Bengaluru District Consumer Forum holds Dentist negligent

Awards 2 Lakh compensation and refund of professional fees for damaging ten teeth

Bengaluru: A 43 year old man who had opted for orthodontic treatment ended up damaging his ten teeth which led to suing the dental clinic and the dentist in the Bengaluru district forum which held the dental clinic and dentist negligent and awarded a compensation of Rs. 2 Lakhs and refund of Rs.50000 on account of professional fees paid to the clinic. The facts of the case are that the complainant the dental clinic to fix issues related to the positioning of front teeth. The dentists after preliminary examination opined that orthodontic treatment was required and the problem could be fixed by applying ceramic braces. The patient after paying the fees started the treatment wherein after some procedure ceramic braces were fixed to the front teeth. The patient was informed that the treatment would take one year but the dentist drag it for two and half year and again charged professional fees to the patient.

However, after his braces were removed in March 2019, he realised that his eight teeth and the enamel of the other two were damaged. He started feeling swelling of his gums and also severe pain while chewing. Soon, he went back to the clinic again which named a separate team of dentists for him. The new team then cemented a few of his teeth causing further damage as well as pain.

Disappointed with his experience at the clinic, the man then visited St John’s Medical College Hospital, where dentists told the man suffered ceramic aberrations on his teeth. Due to this, he needed costly procedures, dentists told him further. Upset over this, the man went to Malleswaram police station to file a complaint against the dental clinic and the dentist.

The patient allegation was that the dentists were to complete the treatment in a year but they took two and half year. Also the initial fees for procedure was Rs.34,000/- but they charged him an additional Rs.50,000/-. Finally the patient alleged that the dentists purposely damaged his ten teeth so as to extract more fees from him. The dentist on the other hand admitted that they had treated the patient but denied giving assurance of completing the treatment in a year. They also denied that the patient teeth’s got damaged because of the treatment. Finally they denied of charging the patient and additional Rs.50,000/-.

The consumer forum referred the matter to Karnataka State Dental Council for expert opinion. The Council submitted its report to the consumer forum. The Council opinion no.2 said “There appears to be a failure on the part of the doctors to inform the progress of the treatment (communication failure); Opinion no. 3 said “ On the clinical examination  of the patient the anterior corss bite still persists and there are multiple abrasion of the enamel surfaces which can be attributed to the failure on the part of doctors to smoothen the enamel after debonding the appliance; Opinion no. 5 said “ That there are no significance damages caused to alveolar bone or the roots following the orthodontic treatment as evidenced in the radiography of the pre and post treatment and opined that the issue of the complainant can be reversed with restorative procedure. The court accepted the expert opinion and held the dental clinic and the dentist on the ground that the damage to the teeth were the result of the orthodontic treatment offered by them to the patient and hence held negligent. The court directed the dental clinic and the dentist to pay Rs. 2 Lakhs on account of compensation and refund the Rs.50,000 fees taken by the dental clinic.