Chennai: The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Thiruvallur directed a dental clinic to pay compensation of Rs 35,000 for carrying out improper root canal treatment and capping procedure on a patient that resulted in the cap repeatedly falling off.
The case concerns a patient who approached Dental Care, Ambattur, after suffering toothache. The dentist in the clinic advised him to undergo root canal treatment immediately. The patient agreed for the treatment and paid Rs 20,800- includes root canal treatment and fixing of zircon crown cap on the tooth for which root canal is done. At the time of payment of fees, the clinic gave ten years warranty for the treatment and for the zircon crown cap.
After few weeks of the root canal treatment, the zircon crown cap which was fixed by the clinic came out while brushing. The patient immediately went to the clinic, the dentist corrected the fixation of the zircon crown cap to the tooth and assured him that the cap will not come out hereafter. While so,after two weeks, the zircon Crown Cap again came out while taking food. The complainant went to the clinic again where he was advised to start the treatment afresh. The patient had to go to Billroth hospital for further treatment. The complainant alleged that the dentist in the clinic had not done the root canal in a proper manner and hence the root canal treatment went in failure. Whenever the complainant approached the opposite party to give proper treatment, the complainant was sent back by saying that the treatment should be started afresh.
On the other hand, the Dental Care clinic rejected the allegations and averments made in the complaint. The treatment was started with the consent and done including the root canal procedure and zircon crown was also fixed and the pain was relieved as a successful outcome. After fixing the crown, the patient was advised to follow the procedures including to avoid hard brushing and also to avoid biting hard and avoiding certain kinds of food. The patient had not followed either the advice or the procedures put forth and as result, the crown had fallen. The centre has only passed on the warranty given by the manufacturer of the crown alone and there is no practice of giving warranty for the treatment which is unheard of in the medical profession.
Further, when the crown fell off the first time, the dentist re-fixed the Crown and advised the patient to follow the instructions strictly, yet the crown had again fallen while chewing food hardly. When the patient approached for the second time, the dentist informed that as a gesture the opposite party was willing to repair or replace the crown as per the advice of the manufacturer of the crown. But despite agreeing to the process inititally, the patient did the contrary and went ahead making false allegations
Moreover, the amount paid by the complainant for the treatment includes the root canal treatment with laser, scaling, filling, zircon crown fixing and professional fees and so the complainant is not justified in seeking the return of the money paid.
The consumer forum, after hearing both sides came with the point that from the above facts and circumstances there is no dispute regarding the root canal treatment and fixation of zircon crown cap by the clinic to the complainant and similarly there is no dispute arose in respect of two visits of the complainant for the reason that the zircon crown cap came out while brushing in the first instance and taking food in the next instance, and in consequence, in the first instance, the clinic has given treatment for re-fixation of zircon crown cap and in the next instance, the clinic has advised to start afresh treatment.
“Such kinds of the words of the clinic certainly leads to the complainant getting afraid and lost the belief over the opposite party treatment is quite natural to all human beings and thereby the complainant was compelled go for another hospital for further better treatment,” the forum observed
.From the fore going among other facts and circumstances, it is quite clear that after giving treatment by the opposite party, two times the zircon crown cap came out and for which the complainant was wandering here and there which clearly shows that there is some negligence committed by the opposite party while giving root canal treatment and fixation of zircon crown cap. Therefore the act of the opposite party itself shows that the opposite party has not followed by procedure in a proper manner and in this circumstances the Doctrine of Res Ipsa loquitor can be applied. Though it is true that the opposite party has obtained the proper consent from the complainant in Ex.B3 to Ex.B5 but it is not sufficient to say that there is no negligence committed by the opposite party in case of said defects took place in the course of root canal treatment and fixation of zircon crown cap.
The court holding the clinic negligent directed it to return the amount to the tune of Rs.20,800/- (Rupees twenty thousand and eight hundred only) towards expenses for the medical treatment incurred by the complainant and also to pay a sum of Rs. 10,000/- (Rupees ten thousand only) towards compensation for causing mental agony and hardships due to the medical negligence of the opposite party and also to pay a sum of Rs.5,000/-(Rupees Five thousand only) towards litigation expenses to the complainant.