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Want to sue my dentist for posing as an orthodontist

San Francisco, CA |

I have been going to my orthodontist for my braces for almost 2 years now. a few months ago i found out that he is not actually a orthodontist but is only a regular dentist. i think this is legal but he certainly did not tell me upright when i agreed to receiving treatment that he was not an actual licensed orthodontist. im pretty sure none of his patients know that he is only a dentist. he also never told me how long i would have my braces on even though i asked him REPEATEDLY. for the past 6 months or more my teeth have looked exactly the same. I signed a contract in the beginning that said that they did not promise to make my teeth perfect but that doesnt mean that they can take my money and do NOTHING. i really want a refund. some help please

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

Your current dentist must have done something that fell below the standard of care for you to have any damages. You need to have your braces examined by an orthodontist, and if they find anything wrong them you need to talk with a local dental malpractice attorney.

Good luck.

DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.

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Posted

Google "dental malpractice lawyer" to find a lawyer to help

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Posted

Your dentist may have a degree DDS like a dentist but you should also check into his experience and training beyond dental school. There may be extensive trains and or experience post degree.

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Posted

What does the sign on his office door say? if it says DDS, then you knew.

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Posted

To be successful, a claim for medical malpractice must have substandard care and then actual injury directly resulting from that substandard care... if a poser dentist (posing like an orthodontist) does orthodontics just like a real grown up orthodontist, then he or she will not likely be found liable for medical negligence... that said, the plaintiff could take a bite out of the defendant poser though suit for advertising violations, fraud, breach of contract, and other such claims. Plus, the dental board would not flash a bright smile upon such crooked behavior, and possibly even extract this poser's license.

- Paul

Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206
Corona, CA 92879
(951)520-9684
www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com

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Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. ... Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker... Fransen & Molinaro, LLP... 980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206... Corona, CA 92879... (951)520-9684... www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com... "When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW." ... * This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy... ** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.

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4 comments

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall

Posted

A California dentist's license is the State license that is required by the CA Dental Board to do orthodontics. There is no presumption by the State administrative authorities that a dentist is not competent to do such work. It may be that a lack of specialized training or experience causes an individual practitioner's orthodontic work to fall below the standard of care, and presumably the standard of care is significantly affected by the standards of work by specially trained and experienced orthodontists. But it is not a cause of action for license discipline by the Dental Board and the dental license is not at risk for administrative discipline on the bare fact of orthodontic work by a dentist. Orthodontics is a speciality that is primarily defined by the policies and standards of voluntary professional associations, as distinct from State licensing Board.

Paul J Molinaro

Paul J Molinaro

Posted

The American Board of Othodontics is the entity that certifies a dentist when he or she completes the requisite training and testing for this specialty. Should one set himself or herself out to the public as having been certified as an orthodontist when, in fact, he or she has only a general dentistry degree and qualifications, he or she is not acting ethically, is committing fraud, and, maybe just my uninformed opinion, but is subject to discipline by regulating agencies. I am not a board certified orthopedic surgeon. If I hang my shingle saying I am, I just can't imagine the medical board or courts being okay with it, even if I set bones just fine. - Paul

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall

Posted

It's a sound argument and a sound position. It's just not the policy or practice of CDB which has never disciplined a CA DDS for doing orthodontics except where another ground for discipline was proven -- negligence, patient abandonment, etc.

Paul J Molinaro

Paul J Molinaro

Posted

Interesting... setting oneself out as an expert in a field where certification of expertese is the standard just reeks of illegalities... one that I can't see a defense for would be the consent issue... "informed consent," that is. A patient who is misinformed (about certification status) cannot give informed consent... thus, should a general dentist say he or she is an orthodontistm any orthodontic procedure done is done so without informed consent. The overall problem here is that there is very little harm a botched orthodontic job can do... if the teeth don't get straightened, they probably can be fixed by a genuine orthodontist... thus, not enough harm to make a lawsuit worth it. - Paul

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