“..Having a commercial eye and to extract more amount from the complainant, ..doubt was created in the mind of the complainant which was ruled out by the second dental doctor,” the forum stated
Chandigarh: A dentist practising in the area has been asked by the District Consumer Forum to pay a total of Rs 56,000 as compensation to a patient, whose scaling and cleaning had allegedly gone wrong. The patient had paid Rs 1000 for the procedure
The decision came in response to a complaint lodged by Harkirat Singh Ghuman against dentist Dr Sarabjeet Singh alleging that he injured his lips in the course of treatment.
The patient had visited the clinic of a dentist on 18.7.2016 for the removal of stain on his tooth and for oral hygiene by scaling and polishing. According to the complainant, the diagnosis of the dentist was enamel of the teeth of the complainant had worn out and the root/nerve on the teeth was at risk of being exposed and If not cured in the nick of time there was a likelihood of teeth getting worn out. The dentist gave the quote of gum coloured filling at Rs.1,800/- per tooth and the cost of teeth coloured filling was quoted at Rs.800/- per tooth
After this, he performed scaling and cleaning of the teeth of the complainant in a rash and negligent manner and in the process wounded his lips and mouth. For this procedure, Rs 1000 was charged to the patient.
However, the patient complained that the stain on his teeth still remained and he visited Dr. Rishi Nagpal at Ambala Cantt. who cleaned the same with stain remover and the stain was immediately removed. Dr. Rishi Nagpal had opined the condition of the enamel of his teeth to be hard and there was no need for worry. The complainant paid a sum of Rs.800/- to Dr. Rishi Nagpal as charges for scaling and cleaning. On being confronted with the situation, OP-1 had started boasting about his medical practice, the complaint added.
After this the patient filed a complaint with the Consumer forum alleging deficiency in service on the part of the dentist and praying for an exemplary punitive cost of Rs.1,00,000/-, litigation expenses and any other relief found equitable
Before the Forum, the dentist defended himself by keeping his side of the story, highlighting his experience and achievements in his profession. He claimed that there was no deficiency in his treatment.
The dentist added he was practising since 1999 i.e. to say the experience of 18 years and was awarded with national excellence award continuously from 2013 to 2016 by Indian Medical Association and prime time. On merits, it is claimed, there was no deficiency in service. On these lines, the cause is sought to be defended.
After going through the pleadings of both the sides, the forum observed that extra money was accessed from the patient.
“Per pleadings of the parties, admitted facts are on 18.7.2016, OP-1 i.e. the dental clinic had performed scaling and cleaning of teeth of the complainant. It is also the case, consideration of Rs.1,000/- was paid. Per allegations, supported by way of affidavit, the process of cleaning and scaling had wounded the lips and the problem of stain of teeth still remained for which the consideration of Rs.1,000/- was paid to OP-1.”
The court noted that the patient went to another dentist the same day as he was scared of the condition stated by the doctor to him as he damaged his tooth in a small matter of scaling and cleaning.
“Perusal of the record i.e. to say Annexure P-2 shows, on the same day when the problem still persisted, the complainant got himself treated at Ambala Cantt. where cleaning of the teeth was done against consideration of Rs.800/-. Thus, as a matter of common sense, it is apparent, there was shortcoming in service of OP-1 for a small thing i.e. scaling and cleaning of the teeth and it is the case, it was done negligently and for which affidavit was sworn in by the complainant. If there was no shortcoming in the service provided by OP-1, there was no fun with the complainant to visit the Nagpal Dental Clinic at Ambala on the same day where the problem was finally removed.“
“It is also the pleading as well as supported by way of an affidavit that, with a commercial eye, OP-1 had allured and created a suspicion in the mind of the complainant that enamel of the teeth had been worn out and the root/nerve of the teeth was at risk of being exposed. On being examined by Dr. Nagpal at Ambala on the same day, such possibility was ruled out. Therefore, having a commercial eye and to extract more amount from the complainant, this doubt was created in the mind of the complainant which was ruled out by the second dental doctor at Ambala as claimed.
After analyzing the case, the forum said,
“We have given considerable thought and having regard to the day-to-day routine in life, if proper cleaning of the teeth was done, there was no necessity to visit the second dental clinic, that too on the same day, and definitely it leads to the conclusion, there was a fault in scaling and cleaning process of teeth on the part of OP-1 or to say imperfection or shortcoming so as to constitute legally defined deficiency under the relevant Act. It is not the case, second dental opinion was required. The second dental service was necessitated on account of fault in the first simple scaling and cleaning process of teeth of the complainant. It was simple process even ordinary person does daily cleaning of teeth. OP-1 was lacking off in expertise services for which he was paid handsome amount of Rs.1,000/- ”
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum passed a judgment on the given case, directing doctor
1.To refund the amount of Rs.1,000/- charged from the complainant for its services.
2. To pay Rs.50,000/- to the complainant as compensation for deficiency in service and mental agony and harassment caused to him and the same is inclusive of the amount of punitive damages;
3. To pay to the complainant Rs.5,000/- as costs of litigation.