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Suit claims dentist went too far yanking all of man's teeth

If you can't trust the medical professionals you turn to for care, who can you trust? The element of trust is critical to any relationship. It is even more critical when you are literally putting your life into someone's hands.

It's legitimate for anyone in Columbus to expect medical professionals they engage to exercise their best professional judgment. When they don't, it's also legitimate to question whether seeking compensation for apparent medical malpractice is called for. The answer should be explored with an experienced attorney's help.    

In a malpractice suit filed in another state recently, the issue is not only one of alleged malpractice. The attorney for the plaintiff says it's also about reasonability. 

Specifically, is it reasonable to think that a 23-year-old man with a single abscessed tooth would ask a dentist to pull out every tooth in his mouth? Or, is it more reasonable to think that such drastic action would only come at the dentist's recommendation?

The suit filed in Missouri claims the latter is what happened, and now the 23-year-old man is seeking compensation for the emotional trauma he is enduring and for the physical damage he continues to suffer. He says the dentures he was given to replace his pulled teeth don't fit. He can't afford new ones. So now he has to go toothless.  

According to the suit, the young man sought treatment in 2009 for the single abscessed tooth. He claims the dentist, doing business as a denture specialist, told him the full extraction was needed to avoid a risk of fatal blood poisoning. It was only after the procedure that the man learned 28 of his teeth were just fine and that the one with the abscess could likely have been treated.

The dentist, whose website says he's been a licensed practitioner since 1979, hasn't responded to requests for comments from the media, but in a deposition given earlier in the case he is said to have claimed that the patient asked to have all his teeth pulled.

The plaintiff's attorney says even if that claim were true, it raises a question about whether the doctor exercised his best professional judgment on behalf of the patient. 

Source: Courthouse News Service, “Man Sues Dentist Who Yanked All His Teeth,” Joe Harris, April 23, 2014

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