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Orthodontics Expert Witnesses

Expert witnesses for orthodontic malpractice and facial injury claims

Orthodontics is a dental specialty concerned with studying and treating improper bites (malocclusions), which may be caused by tooth irregularity and/or disproportionate jaw relationships. Orthodontists use medical devices such as braces and retainers to align crooked teeth.

Some orthodontists work on reconstructing the entire face rather than focusing solely on teeth. Orthodontic treatment can also deal with control and modification of facial growth, in which case it’s more precisely defined as “dentofacial orthopedics.”

Orthodontists need four years of accredited dental education to earn a DMD (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry) or DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) degree, plus a two- to three-year residency to earn a subspecialty certificate in Orthodontics. The national accrediting organization for orthodontists is the American Board of Orthodontics.

Orthodontic malpractice case matter

Allegations of medical negligence against an orthodontist may include:

  • Poor aesthetic outcomes due to failure to meet standards of care
  • Failure to diagnose orthodontic issues
  • Wrong tooth extraction
  • Periodontal injury
  • Improper use or improper placement of braces
  • Failure to obtain informed consent
  • Unnecessary procedures that lead to undue cost or preventable injury

Negligence claims against orthodontists are uncommon because they typically perform non-invasive procedures. When they do occur, however, highly qualified expert witnesses are essential due to the specialized nature of the field.

How an orthodontist can strengthen an injury case

Orthodontists can serve as valuable expert witnesses in personal injury and workers’ compensation cases involving injuries to the teeth or jaw. An experienced, board-certified orthodontist can:

  • Explain the nature and extent of dental injuries, and interpret X-rays and other diagnostic tests.
  • Identify the specific forces that caused dental injuries, such as blunt force trauma, using their knowledge of dental anatomy and biomechanics.
  • Explain the treatment options available for dental injuries, such as braces, bridges, and implants, and estimate the cost and duration of each treatment option.
  • Explain the long-term effects of dental injuries on oral health and function, such as potential treatment complications and impacts on the victim’s ability to eat, speak, and perform daily activities.

If the victim is a child, an orthodontist can also explain how the injury will affect their growth and development and what orthodontic interventions may be needed to maximize their quality of life.

Talk to our medical experts today

The team at Rieback Medical-Legal Consultants includes highly qualified, Board-Certified orthodontists who are ready and able to assist the legal community. If you need an orthodontic expert witness or want to discuss a potential orthodontic malpractice case, contact us online to schedule a free case summary review.

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