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How to Improve Your Chances to Win a Dental Malpractice Lawsuit

Posted on 20. Oct, 2011 by .

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Tom over at OralAnswers has previously written a post on how to win a dental malpractice suit http://www.oralanswers.com/2010/07/sue-your-dentist-and-win-malpractice-lawsuit/

I also discuss on my U.S. Legal System and Medical Malpractice page http://www.teethremoval.com/legal_system_medical_malpractice the 4 elements you must prove to have a chance at winning a malpractice suit.

(1) the doctor to provide a standard of care to patients in the locality where the treatment occured (legal duty)

(2) the doctor breached that standard of care

(3) an injury causing damages

(4) the breach of the standard of care was the proximate cause of the injury.

Now as is quite clear on my site I disagree with the current ‘standard of care’ of removing healthy wisdom teeth in young healthy patients in the U.S. This is not the standard of care in the U.K.

I wanted to touch on an additional element in this post to help improve your chances of winning a dental malpractice lawsuit due to the aggressive tactics employed by dentists, oral surgeons, and their staff to prevent lawsuits.

As indicated on my complications page, my personal experience, and doing additional research on Yelp of wisdom teeth extraction oral surgeon reviews, it is quite clear that patients who experience symptoms and complications after having wisdom teeth extracted are sometimes told things to the effect of:

The condition was not related to the surgery, or the problems were not related to the oral surgery, or send us your follow up results/testing from a medical doctor so we can determine IF your problems are related to the oral surgery as we have not heard of that complication happening before.

Remember that dentists and oral surgeons are in the business of pulling out teeth and are hence after profit and protecting themselves from liability which all too often is at the expense of making the patient receiving  fair compensation.

When I discussed my complication of a 24/7 headache that started roughly 2 days after having 4 healthy wisdom teeth extracted with a lawyer it was suggested to me that there WAS NO WAY TO PROVE I DIDN’T HIT MY HEAD ON THE WAY OUT OF THE OFFICE OR SOMETHING ELSE HAPPENED BETWEEN THE ORAL SURGERY AND THE ONSET OF THE HEADACHE. I was unable to receive any compensation for my injuries and continue to have a 24/7 headache and my surgery occurred over 5 years ago.

The only feasible way I see to get around a lot of these issues is to VIDEO TAPE THE ORAL SURGERY AND ALL EVENTS AFTERWARDS FOR AT LEAST SEVERAL DAYS.

I would personally recommend bringing in multiple friends and family members to the oral surgery and video tape the extractions from multiple angles. You will also need to ensure you have at least 1 video camera on you at all times for like I said at least a few days after the surgery.

Now let’s be honest some dentists and oral surgeons will not be welcoming to having multiple people video taping the surgery but this is really the only way within the current confines of the law to help protect yourself and increase your chances of winning a potential suit if a complication were to occur.

Look if your dentist or oral surgeon won’t let you video tape the surgery then I would find a different one or maybe feed them some BS excuse for taping the surgery such as for a class project or something.  Otherwise I would resort to possibly bugging the oral surgeons or dentists office or hiding cameras or something in your clothes.

Current scientific evidence doesn’t support or refute having healthy wisdom teeth extracted http://www.teethremoval.com/controversy.html and this is an elective procedure. If you are going to have it done at least provide yourself the additional evidence of video tape of the event and events following the surgery to help increase your chances of a successful lawsuit if things don’t go as you would hope.

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Male Testicular Cancer Awareness: Rhian Sugden

Posted on 18. Oct, 2011 by .

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Last week, I posted a bold video to raise Breast Cancer Awareness http://blog.teethremoval.com/rethink-breast-cancer-your-man-reminder/.

Well in Britain around a month or so ago an extremely bold video was released to raise Testicular Cancer Awareness as part of the Male Cancer Awareness Campaign http://www.malecancer.org. This video features model Rhian Sugden and should only be viewed if you are prepared for the worst. So far it is been viewed over 1.4 million times on YouTube.

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Dental Networks – The Rising Popularity of Social Dentistry Marketing

Posted on 15. Oct, 2011 by .

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As a dentist you may be put off by the thought of “marketing” your dental business. After all you didn’t major in business, but rather in dentistry. However, marketing your dentistry business is of great significance. The major reason for dental marketing is to get as many patients as you can. This should be the key factor of your marketing plan. To achieve this goal, you also need to set an online platform where you must create a space for professional recognition. So what comes to your mind first? Social media? Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? Let’s see the consequences.

Undoubtedly, social media has played a great role in how businesses have reshaped marketing. This is why medical marketing on social media is the hype these days. However, creating recognition in a highly competitive market can be exigent. So it’s better to assess your professional expertise and business plan before you make a move.

Which category do you belong to? Are you a type of dentist who is unsure about taking your dentistry profession into the cyber world? Do you feel hesitant about facing a large audience with dissimilar interests? Are you prone to risks and looking for a safer social dental marketing method? Read on to see the fresh ideas we have for you.

Dentists, who have a very doubtful approach towards social media for dental marketing, face three types of risks. These are:

  1. The risk of being left alone and unrecognized in a competitor dominant market
  2. The risk of being intimidated with similar businesses that have already captured the social media market
  3. The risk of receiving anonymous messages that are either irrelevant (waste time) or negative (put a bad name to the business)

These three risks are indeed a matter of consideration associated with social media for dental marketing.  While these threats are logical, it is important to remember that late adopters of latest media trends are likely to put in more effort to catch up. Therefore, social media marketing is considered to be a must for dental offices to show their existence to the world.

Meeting the clients’ demands is never an easy task. You might have to face even worse threats fulfilling the expectations of your clients in dental marketing. Despite the positive results, dental marketing has shown via mainstream social networks, the risks associated with it just can’t be ignored. Social networks are basically designed for people to hook back and enhance their social connections with people they know. Receiving dental web marketing messages on social network sites can be frustrating for them. This may result in excessive negative comments on your page that may eventually discourage all your existing and potential clients to cling on your dental services.

Isn’t it a turn off for all dental professionals to continue dental marketing on social media sites? Isn’t it too annoying to receive low return on investment? Aren’t you afraid to end up mixing your private and professional messages? We have a solution.

The Rising Popularity of Dental Social Networks

Online communities that support the dentistry profession and are designed to help dentists and dental patients to connect are on the rise. Reason? Because these dental networks are exclusively aimed to connect dentists and patients in a more professional way, while also eradicating the threats of social media.

Dental networks are a great dental marketing alternative. Checkdent.com is a newly launched online community aiming to avoid risky DIY dental experiments on social media networks. Since a highly targeted audience is already in search of you, you have an opportunity to directly hit a market where all the people are either dental experts or clients. There are no random users like those on Facebook and Twitter.

Dental networks can be a great way to yield higher return on investment and share expertise and experience with people who are looking out for it. Checkdent.com offers features considering a whole range of marketing for dentist channels such as the dental forum, dental videos or a blog.  A social network is complemented by a dental video encyclopedia, an interactive dentist directory, and an expert maintained forum with regularly updated blogs.

Each of these features offer great opportunities to get the word out about your dental office by placing links that will land onto your own website.

To conclude, dental networks are a fresh new way to promote your dental business. So join a dental network today and make it the perfect market to fit your dental practice.

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Why People Hate the Dentist

Posted on 14. Oct, 2011 by .

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Numerous posts on the internet have attempted to shed light on the why people hate the dentist.

Tom over at OralAnswers.com has a two part series on why people hate the dentists located at http://www.oralanswers.com/2011/09/why-people-hate-the-dentist/ and http://www.oralanswers.com/2011/09/why-people-hate-the-dentist-my-theory-part-ii/

Dr. Joe Bulger DDS in Canada changed the name of his blog to hatedentists.com and his written several posts on the topic of people who hate dentists located at http://www.hatedentists.com/1319/hate-dentist/ , http://www.hatedentists.com/1326/dentist-haters/ , and http://www.hatedentists.com/1363/top-10-reasons-people-hate-dentists/

SaneDentist.com has a post by Dr. Mujtaba Ali regarding 5 reasons why people hate the dentist located at http://www.sanedentist.com/here-are-5-reasons-why-we-hate-the-dentist-and-what-a-dentist-thinks-about-them.html

Reading, over these posts and potential explanations for hate towards the dentist just doesn’t seem to do the hate justice and doesn’t touch on all the issues.

So here are some reasons why I think people really hate dentists (subjective opinion):

1) Being motivated by money to the point of detrimental care to their patients

Let’s face it, people go to work to make money so they can survive and look after their loved ones. However, dentistry is not a business and should be about making people motivated to practice healthy habits and not pushing unnecessary surgeries and care. This is touched on on the controversy page of this site and in this post on if dentists are ethical or scam artists. People want to know the facts regarding their care and if it will be helpful or harmful.

Now yes doctors and dentists do have increasing outrageous tuition costs at the undergraduate and professional levels http://blog.teethremoval.com/lets-give-our-kids-a-chance-to-succeed/. What should be happening is strong leadership and organization in dental professional societies to help insure tuition costs do not continue to spiral out of control. Of course dentists should be fairly compensated for their efforts and skills but the current fee schedules often times do not promote health to the fullest.

2) Not factoring liability into the patient side of the equation and ensuring patients who are injured receive fair compensation.

As discussed on this website and well known, doctors and dentists have concerns with liability when they see a patient. Numerous physician groups in the U.S. such as the American Medical Association and American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are actively pursuing legislation to limit non-economic ‘pain and suffering’ damage caps to $250,000. http://blog.teethremoval.com/the-war-on-healthcare-patients-who-hate-doctors/ and http://www.teethremoval.com/legal_standpoint.html

The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons continues to recommend and say that most healthy wisdom teeth should be removed when a patient is young and healthy such as a teenager but yet also push for damage caps of $250,000 at the national level. Several cases are illustrated on this site at http://www.teethremoval.com/complications.html and http://www.teethremoval.com/dental_malpractice.html in which a damage award of $250,000 for certain cases is just downright unfair, unjust and ridiculous.

In fact I argue that you should avoid having wisdom teeth extracted in any state such as California and Texas which have $250,000 non-economic damage caps. There are other potential approaches instead of the current medical malpractice system such as discussed here http://www.teethremoval.com/legal_system_medical_malpractice that dentists should be advocating for for their patients. This includes such things as a no fault insurance for negative outcomes, a no-fault approach, or health courts.

3) Lack of focus on research

Let’s face it many people simply do not like the dental drill and needles and other instruments used by a dentist. New approaches should be further explored. For example, extract wisdom teeth without the need for all these tools with perhaps some other method to prevent wisdom teeth from even growing.

Further echoing back towards #1 many dentists and doctors are motivated to go into specialties that pay higher instead of going into more academic and research oriented careers. This works to hinder much needed progress and discovery.  In addition many patients who want to know the latest up to date research are left in the dark.

Further it is my belief that patients and their reactions both positive and negative to treatments should be investigated. Often times there will be no record of how a patient responded to a treatment.

4) Engaging in conspiracy, collusion, and trying protect themselves from potential liability to the detriment of their patients

There are numerous complications that can occur from having wisdom teeth extracted as indicated here http://www.teethremoval.com/complications.html.

However, when I had my wisdom teeth extracted I consented to only around 8 such complications and was never made aware that there are numerous other potential serious risks involved. Furthermore the fact that healthy wisdom teeth are not extracted in the U.K. due to the risk of harm was not disclosed.

Still to today I have yet to see any informed consent forms that list permanent headache as a known complication from having wisdom teeth extracted.  As discussed on wisdom teeth removal stories by others other patients have had headaches occurring from having wisdom teeth extracted and were told as was I that it was not related to the surgery. It is my belief that patients have a right to know about serious potential risks before consenting to a potentially life altering surgical procedure.

In addition, other dental websites on the internet fail to disclose many of the potential risks and complications from having wisdom teeth extracted.  Some of this may have to do with dentistry being focused on the oral cavity and so some do not like to readily admit that teeth have implications on other aspects of the body and health. Another reason of course is going back to #1 where their is a push towards selling procedures and care instead of providing information to patients to better help them make health decisions.

Patients get angry when they are lied to and feel like they have been taken advantage of. In some cases patients are told they had to have impacted wisdom teeth extracted even though no scientific evidence currently supports having healthy impacted wisdom teeth extracted. Further patients get angry when they are lied to by their dentist and office staff about complications that have occurred from surgery.

5) Pain

Ultimately going to the dentist can cause a lot of pain. Some of this pain may just be due to their teeth hurting or it could be due to a lasting horribly painful complication from treatment.

6) Anxiety

Since patients know that dentists can cause them a lot of pain they get anxious about seeing a dentist. This may even cause them to have nightmares and be unable to sleep for days prior to seeing their dentist.

7) Giving patients a hard talk

Some patients may need to be told that certain things they are doing to take care of their teeth are not good. Some dentists may discuss this in a way with the patient that they take offense to, although it really shouldn’t be taken that way.

8 ) Taking sexual advantage of patients

As discussed here http://www.teethremoval.com/sexual_assault_under_anesthesia_for_wisdom_teeth_removal.html some dentists have sexually assaulted their particularly young female patients during treatments and procedures. This has absolutely no place in dentistry. Certainly dentists are people and can have urges but this has no place in the workplace with paying customers.

9) Dental boards and organizations not protecting the public

I had no desire whatsoever to create this website. It is very unfortunate that high quality care and protecting and providing information to the public so they can make an informed choice about dental treatments is not the top priority.

Many oral surgeons continue to recommend that healthy impacted wisdom teeth be extracted in young patients http://blog.teethremoval.com/the-truthiness-of-extracting-wisdom-teeth-james-r-carey/ without adequately providing information on the facts, evidence, risks, and harms of surgery.  Again this goes back to #1 .

10) Poor service

Ultimately all of these issues set up for poor service and unsatisfied patients. It can be hard to please every patient and know how different patients will react. However, poor service really encompasses all of the issues already touched upon. Other things that could be a problem is lack of knowledgeable dental staff or a dated dental office.

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Rethink Breast Cancer: Your Man Reminder

Posted on 13. Oct, 2011 by .

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A very interesting video was posted to YoutTube last week to help raise awareness for breast cancer. Several shirtless young men appear to show how to check for lumps in an effort to raise breast cancer awareness for younger women.

This is a Canadian campaign by a charity called Rethink Breast Cancer. http://rethinkbreastcancer.com/

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald. Sacha Molitorisz. Steamy spin sells health message. October 14, 2011. http://www.smh.com.au/business/marketing/steamy-spin-sells-health-message-20111013-1ln0z.html

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