Crooked teeth can be a real problem. It’s one of those personal issues that can affect how you smile, how you speak, how you eat, and even your level of confidence.
Correcting a crooked smile is definitely a process, but with today’s procedures, technology, and modern medicine, you don’t have to suffer with it.
If you are considering getting braces for your teeth, there are four popular options to consider:
- Metal braces
- Ceramic braces
- Lingual braces
- Invisible braces
Of these options, invisible braces tend to be a favorite – particularly among teens and adults. Why, you might ask? Because they are the least noticeable. Many people who have crooked or misaligned teeth struggle with the decision to correct them because the thought of having a mouth full of metal and orthodontia seems unbearable, even if it is only temporary.
However, invisible braces are usually the most expensive option. And what happens if you invest all of this time and money into invisible braces, and they don’t work? Or worse—what if they cause a bigger issue to your mouth or jaw? Can that be considered medical malpractice?
First, what exactly is medical malpractice?
Before considering a complication or issue with invisible braces to be medical malpractice, you first need to understand the basics.
Medical malpractice is a type of professional negligence by either an action, or a lack of action, by a healthcare provider. This action, or lack there-of, must involve treatment that is considered less than what the acceptable standard is for the medical community and causes some kind of harm, damage, or even death to the patient.
So… Can your Invisalign complication be considered medical malpractice?
The short answer to this question is: maybe. It depends on your unique circumstances. But, like all medical providers and healthcare professionals, orthodontists and dentists are responsible for providing a certain level of care to their patients. If they fail to provide this standard of care, and you are injured as a result of this failure, then you may be able to collect damages for your suffering.
However, the flip side to this is that just because you are injured, it may not be because of negligence or a failure to provide adequate care on the part of your dentist or orthodontist. There is a certain amount of assumed risk that comes with any medical procedure or treatment. Complications are not out of the realm of possibility, and there are instances where they may not have been able to be prevented—regardless of how thorough or careful your care provider was.
Things to consider…
The most important thing to consider when it comes to malpractice with Invisalign is to try to research and investigate what the industry standard procedures are for Invisalign treatment. Was there anything that your care provider did differently that caused your complication or injury? Was your complication foreseeable and preventable?
With Invisalign in particular, there are certain requirements that a patient must meet to be approved for Invisalign treatment. This brand of invisible braces has only been approved for certain patients, and to move teeth in specific ways. So if your care provider used the devices incorrectly, and you were injured as result, then he or she may be liable.
If you find yourself dealing with an unexpected complication or issue as a result of your Invisalign treatment, the best thing you can is consult with an experienced and knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney. They will be able to evaluate your unique situation, and determine if you have grounds for a medical malpractice case.
Causation and proving malpractice is not easy, and at Hardesty, Tyde, Green & Ashton, P.A., we have lawyers who will be able to assist you, gather the right evidence, and also to get the needed expert witnesses. Our attorney Frank A. Ashton is a member of Lawguru Attorney Network.