Gurugram: The District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum directed a city-based dentist to pay compensation of Rs 3 lakh on account of medical negligence for incomplete root canal treatment procedure.
The case concerns the complainant, Seema who visited one Dr Sethi at the “Smile & Shine” Dental Care Centre for the treatment of closure of gap between her front teeth on 8th March 2016. The complainant was informed that the treatment would be carried out into two stages, Root Canal Treatment and crowning for the 8 teeth which would take two weeks time.
The patient was told that metal-free crowns will be more suitable in attired teeth.
The complainant paid Rs 45 thousand for the eight crowns.
Referring to the X-ray, the patient was informed that root canal was required in all the eight teeth. Thereafter, root canal treatment of upper teeth was done.
The patient felt the pain about which she was she was informed that it was a routine pain and would subside once the crowns are fixed. After root canal, impression for crowning was taken and the final crowning was completed on 15th April but the pain did not subside.
The patient visited the attending doctors multiple times but she was told that the pain would subside after some time.
The complainant then went Air Force Medicare Centre, Army hospital where incomplete RCT was confirmed by the Dental Centre at Army Hospital, Delhi Cantt.
The patient went to the consumer forum and alleged negligence on part of the dentists, demanding compensation.
The patient alleged that the dentist took Xray for every procedure but did not inform about the short obturation of the teeth.
It was alleged that on account of wrong diagnosis and for want of initial communication by saying that the entire treatment would be over in about 2 weeks whereas it had already taken 38 days which has caused suffering to the patient.
The complainant prayed for issuing directions to the OP to pay Rs 10 lakh as damages to the complainant and to pay Rs 5 lakh on account of mental agony, suffering, and torture as well as litigation expenses.
In response to the allegations, the dentists stated that the complaint was not maintainable and has been filed to harass the opposite party. It was admitted that the complainant visited the opposite party on referral from ECHS for treatment of spaces in her upper and lower teeth with specific solutions. The specialized doctors treated the patients with utmost care and with best of their abilities. Procedure of crowning involves reduction of teeth by 1.5 mm on all the aspects of tooth surfaces. The crowning process was successfully completed and the caps were given without any gap. The complainant complained of pain. Thereafter, the caps were removed. During the treatment, the complainant was also informed that one of the teeth was calcified and RCT was not possible and it was removed. The complainant was referred to Dr Sahai who advised the complainant to get a CBCT Scan and CBCT Scan has been done. On confirmation of incomplete obturation of the roots and presence of additional canal in lower lateral in cisor which was reportedly not visible in normal X-rays and a rare finding. Re-root canal was advised and the patient was called for the same. The opposite party denied rest of the allegations levelled in the complaint and prayed for the dismissal of the complaint with costs.
The forum heard both the parties and went through the written arguments.
In order to ascertain the medical negligence on the part of treating doctor, this Forum referred the matter to the Civil Surgeon, General Hospital, Gurgaon in order to seek the report with regard to medical negligence from the committee of doctor specialist in the relevant field to get their views in this regard.
The specialists observed that the treatment provided to the patient for her condition was not appropriate. However, the part of the treatment was corrected afterward and some part of the appropriate treatment was left because the patient did not turn up. The specialist opinion stated
“initial RCT was not proper and ReRCT has to be done. Check X-ray should have been done after final obturation before proceeding for crowns which was not followed and all ceramic crowns were given which was not proper.”
The forum then held the dentist guilty stating that
When the competent medical board has given the report regarding the medical negligence on the part of treating doctor Dr. Rajat Sethi, “Smile & Shine” Dental Care Centre then it cannot be said that there was no negligence on the part of doctor while treating the complainant. The medical opinion of the competent board of doctors has stated that treatment provided to the patient for her condition was not appropriate. Therefore, in view of the medical opinion of the medical board, we are inclined to hold that there is deficiency in service on the part of OP.
The court directed the opposite party to pay a lump sum amount of Rs. 3 lakh to the complainant on account of medical negligence, pain suffering, litigation expenses etc. to the complainant.