Monday, May 21, 2012

The Morning Drill: May 21, 2012

From Dr. Sherri Worth's website

Good Monday moring!

I am recovering from yesterday's Pasadena Half Marathon, but here are today's dentistry and health headlines:

'Dentist to stars' pays $641K in malpractice lawsuit

A prominent cosmetic dentist in California whose ads boast of treating movie stars and sports celebrities has paid a $641,542 award in a malpractice lawsuit, one of six such lawsuits filed against her in nine years.

Newport Beach dentist Sherri Worth, DDS, paid the award following an arbitrator's finding that she did excessive preparation of 22 teeth, plus laser surgery, during a two-hour and 40-minute procedure on March, 5, 2009. As a result, the patient, Ingrid Valdez, suffered irreversible pulpitis and nerve damage which required several root canals.

"She went too fast and too deep and removed too much gum tissue without removing bone, which is needed to treat a 'gummy smile' for a crown lengthening procedure," Valdez's attorney, Edwin Zinman, DDS, a San Francisco attorney who specializes in dental law, told "She should have referred her to a periodontist before doing the prep work."

Several dentists testified in hearings that Dr. Worth had violated the biologic width of Valdez's gums during laser surgery and did overcontoured restorations that resulted in gross malocclusions that could not be corrected by adjustment. They also testified that Dr. Worth's dental work needed to be removed, the crowns lengthened, and new restorations placed.

The award was one of the largest decisions involving crowns, veneers, and bridges, according to Dr. Zinman.

iPhone records doctor's questionable behavior

The sound of a dentist's drill can make even the toughest patients panic. But for one Valley man, it wasn't the drill that worried him. It's what was said during his dental procedure.

"I had told him I was very uncomfortable going under general anesthesia," said Donovan Cade, who was scheduled to have his wisdom teeth pulled. "He convinced me to anyway during our consultation." 

Both Cade and the dentist, Dr. Brown Harris, will tell you they got off to a rough start after an initial consultation turned into a heated billing dispute. So Harris offered to perform the surgery at a steep discount. Cade booked it and then did something that many of us might not even think of.

"I went ahead and turned on the voice recorder on my phone and left it on the table next to the chair," said Cade.

It's a simple action, taken in a moment of vulnerability, that would capture something unthinkable.

"I know everybody wants to write Dick on his forehead," said a male voice that can be heard on Cade's iPhone recording. He says the voice is that of Dr. Harris, who can then be heard saying, "But I'll just have to sit back and think I could and I chose not to, thus I feel better."

Cade can be heard in the recording multiple times saying, "Ow Ow Ow."

At one point the person identified as Harris asks, "You want to do another shot?" Someone else responds, "Eh, I don't care."

Several people are heard laughing before the man believed to be Harris says, "Well, I tell you this much. I don't think I would go back to a place where I was so mean to just in case they decide to give me a tattoo."

Cade says the entire 28-minute procedure was recorded on his iPhone.

"It had a pretty big impact on me," said Cade. "I was as anybody would be when you find yourself mistreated, when you were completely vulnerable in somebody's care."

State-regulated professionals urge court reversal of FTC order

The Federal Trade Commission lacks jurisdiction over the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners, the ADA and associations of state-regulated health care professionals and state dental and medical boards contend in a brief filed May 17 with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

The eight organization friend of the court brief urges the court to reverse an FTC final order against the North Carolina board. The FTC administrative ruling has drawn congressional and judicial attention.

“Each amicus (interested party) supports the determination by the states that the health professions should be regulated by knowledgeable health care professionals who have practical experience in the profession they are regulating,” says the brief filed on behalf of the American Dental Association, American Osteopathic Association, American Veterinary Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Academy of Periodontology, American Association of Orthodontists and the American Association of Dental Boards and Federation of State Medical Boards.

“Each has a direct interest in assuring that state regulatory boards are able to discharge their statutory responsibilities with accountability to the state legislatures that created them – without intervention and second guessing by the Federal Trade Commission, a federal agency that lacks jurisdiction over these boards, that has no particular expertise in the professions regulated by these boards, and that, by misapplying the federal antitrust laws, seeks to substitute its concept of the public interest for the position taken by the board charged by the state legislature with determining what is in the public interest in the area of its regulatory authority.”

Dr. Ron Goodlin, of Aurora, Ontario, is the new president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

Dr. Ron Goodlin of Aurora, Ontario, took the helm as president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) during the AACD’s 28th Annual Scientific Session in Washington, DC, May 2-5.

Dr. Goodlin is an Accredited member of the AACD and has been involved in the organization since 1997.

Dr. Goodlin practices dentistry at Smiles Dental, located in Aurora, Ontario. In his free time, he is an amateur photographer and is working to open a dental clinic in Tanzania. His objective is to encourage dentists from Canada, the U.S., and Europe to spend a day or two at the clinic as they pass through Tanzania during safari vacations, as well as create an opportunity for dental students to visit and do some work there.

“I am so excited about the upcoming year as president of the Academy,” Goodlin said.
“Together, all of us at the Academy will make a great team and I know we will accomplish a lot and have fun doing it!”

In addition to his work at AACD, he is currently the president of the Toronto Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, is a co-founder of the Canadian Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and served as the Editor of the Canadian Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry from 2000-2008. He remains the Associate Editor and is on the editorial boards of both Spectrum and Teamwork dental journals. He graduated from the University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry in 1980.

Enjoy your morning!

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