Dentist must pay $86K for giving patient ill-suited braces

2019 10 17 18 00 4638 Gavel3 400

A court in Ireland ordered a dentist to pay 77,750 euros (approximately $86,000 U.S.) to a woman who experienced teeth movement and years of pain and discomfort due to poor dental work, stemming from a discounted set of braces, according to news reports.

Riyadh Emara, MScD, of Canal View Dental Surgery in Dublin, must pay the damages to Sarah O'Gorman who visited him in 2013 to discuss straightening her teeth. O'Gorman, now 23, went to see Dr. Emara because she was referred by some of her friends and the dentist was offering metal braces at the bargain price of $2,300.

The court ruled in October in O'Gorman's favor, noting that Dr. Emara was negligent because he should have referred O'Gorman's complex case to an orthodontist, and he didn't fully explain the risks of the procedure. The court also noted that Dr. Emara provided no defense, did not participate in any of the proceedings, and did not respond to communications from O'Gorman's lawyers.

In November 2013, O'Gorman agreed to the treatment of braces to fix her crooked teeth. After a few years, Dr. Emara removed her bottom set of braces but left the top ones.

In October 2016, O'Gorman, who still had the top braces, began feeling her teeth move, experienced sore roots, and felt a clicking in the root area, she claimed. She said her teeth felt so loose that she thought they may fall out if she bit into anything hard, triggering her to seek a second opinion from an orthodontist.

The orthodontist and his colleagues agreed that the braces had to be removed and that they would not touch her teeth for at least six months because they feared they may fall out. The orthodontist also removed one of O'Gorman's wisdom teeth. The tooth had caused her great pain, but Dr. Emara had left it alone after he made one unsuccessful attempt to remove it.

When the orthodontist was able to work on O'Gorman's mouth, he gave her a new set of braces and an implant. O'Gorman paid a total of $6,100 for the new dental work.

After acknowledging her trauma and that the orthodontist was able to fix her smile, the court awarded O'Gorman about $55,000 for her pain and suffering, $22,000 for future pain, and about $8,500 to cover treatment costs, and legal fees.

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