A 15-year-old girl was at the orthodontist's office and was told that she needed to have a number of baby teeth extracted in order to make room in her mouth for permanent teeth to grow in. She was told to go back to her general dentist in order to get these baby teeth removed.
The orthodontist even sent a detailed letter to the general dentist specifically itemizing which teeth need to be extracted.
When this young girl went to the general dentist, she was treated by one of the associates who had never seen her before. Using the orthodontist's instructions as a guide together with x-rays, he pulled out teeth that he believed were the ones indicated in the instructions provided by the orthodontist.
Six months later the patient returned to the orthodontist. There were two spaces on the bottom jaw and the orthodontist told the patient to give it more time for the adult teeth to grow in. Six months later the patient again returned to the orthodontist and x-rays at that time revealed two permanent teeth that were no longer in her jaw.
When the original x-rays were compared to recent x-rays it became obvious that the general dentist removed two permanent teeth instead of two baby teeth.
I had an opportunity to question this dentist during pretrial testimony known as a deposition. This is also known as a question and answer session, given under oath.
When I asked the doctor why he removed two permanent teeth instead of the two baby teeth, as instructed, he had no good answer. He claimed he thought he was removing two baby teeth.
It was obvious that this dentist did not have a good comprehension of the patient's anatomy and where the adult teeth were located compared to the baby teeth.
Despite the obvious carelessness exhibited by this dentist and a clear violation of good dental practice, the defense refused to settle this case until immediately before trial.