Clove Dental asked to pay Rs 2.50 lakh, interest to patient's year-long agony post-root canal

Ketan R. Sanghvi, 50, of Secunderabad, visited Clove Dental in Karkhana in January 2018 for a dental ailment

Clove Dental asked to pay Rs 2.50 lakh, interest to patients year-long agony post-root canal

Hyderabad: Clove Dental in Karkhana was ordered by the District Consumer Redressal Forum to pay Rs 2 lakh in compensation and Rs 50,000 in litigation fees for causing loss, mental agony, and suffering to their patient following a Root Canal Treatment.

Ketan R. Sanghvi, 50, of Secunderabad, visited Clove Dental in Karkhana in January 2018 for a dental ailment. He was advised to have a root canal and a cap placed on teeth No. 3 and 6 during his consultation. Further examination revealed that nearly all of his teeth required root canal treatment and capping, for which he was given a quote if Rs. 2,27,000.

He was also told that the entire treatment would take four months to finish at various intervals and that root canal therapy would be necessary for all of the teeth accordingly. The dentists pronounced the treatment a success after moulding and affixing zirconium crowns and caps to the teeth.

Ketan R. Sanghvi also hoped for a speedy recovery, but soon after the treatment, he observed swelling in his left jaw, which made opening his mouth difficult and he couldn't eat anything; as a result, he reverted to Clove Dental on January 21, 2018.

He was prescribed an antibiotic for roughly a week, suggesting that the swelling was caused by an infection. Ketan R. Sanghvi took the antibiotic course for the suggested length of time, but the infection did not subside and the discomfort and swelling persisted. So he returned to Clove Dental and scheduled another consultation with the dentist.

He was evaluated again and told to continue taking the prescribed antibiotics. Ketan Sanghvi took the antibiotics for as long as they were prescribed, but the discomfort and swelling persisted, and he still suffered from mental anguish, unbearable misery, pain, and suffering for almost a month.

Ketan Sanghvi returned to Clove Dental in May 2018, but the swelling and pain persisted after taking several days of antibiotics given by the dentists. Ketan Sanghvi, unable to endure the pain and swelling, sought the advice of an ENT specialist, Dr. GN Reddy, who asked Ketan Sanghvi to continue treatment with the Clove Dental, as they had performed all of the procedures from day one.

He then visited Dr. Shyam Sunder, a general physician, who recommended revisiting Clove Dental since it was a dental issue. Ketan Sanghvi had to return to Clove Dental in August 2018 due to unbearable pain. They examined him again and told him the pain and swelling were due to a massive infection in the lower jaw (Mandible); therefore, they again asked him to take antibiotics as well as the steroid medicine Wysolone.

After taking the steroids, Ketan Sanghvi was relieved of pain from the lower side of the jaw to the head, but he now complained of joint pain all over his body, as well as stomach upset and mood swings, for which he immediately consulted an orthopaedic doctor, Dr. Naresh Hanagodu. He advised Ketan Singhavi to undergo physiotherapy for a month, which the complainant did and received some relief.

He later discovered from medical experts that using Wysolone could result in adverse effects such as joint pain, giddiness, mood swings, stomach upset, and a surge in blood sugar levels, among other things, which left him worried.

He returned to Clove Dental in October 2018, complaining that the swelling on his jaw had persisted since the first day of treatment. He was then advised to have the caps on teeth Nos. 5, 6, and 7 removed in order to relieve the pressure and swelling, and with the complainant's consent, the cap on No. 7 was removed, but the complainant still apparently did not receive any relief.

Clove Dental then recommended Ketan Sanghvi to reach out to Dr. Azad at their Madhapur branch, indicating that he was very skilled and knowledgeable. On their suggestion, the complaint went to the Madhapur branch to consult Dr. Azad, but even he could not give any solution.

Later, the complainant was treated in Madhapur, where Dr. Azad removed caps for teeth No. 3/5 and 3/6 caps, did a re-root canal for tooth No. 3/7, and apparently did drilling to further depth with the idea that this would allow the infection to ooze out from the bottom of the teeth. However, Dr. Azad pierced the gum with a drill or file, but he allegedly left behind a broken part of the needle or file of the drill in the gum, which the complainant is still carrying inside. He also recommended antibiotics, which the complainant took but had no effect on his pain.

Ketan Sanghvi apparently learned about the damaged needle when visiting a dentist, Dr. Amarsoni Minde, in Byculla, Mumbai, for a routine check-up or a second opinion. The dentist in Mumbai conducted an X-ray and pointed out the drill, file, and needle in the gum, concluding that the needle breakage was caused only by negligent, incorrect, and deficient treatment by the Clove Dental.

Ketan Sanghvi further claimed that Clove Dental showed little interest in removing the damaged needle but instead examined him formally and washed their hands by administering antibiotics carelessly. He further claimed that another dentist at Clove Dental used to educate the complainant about dos and don'ts, but she never made any efforts to remove the broken needle from his gums.

He added that another dentist informed him that he was in pain because the crowns were not properly grounded, which could be the cause of the swelling or infection, and that, on her advice, the complainant underwent a grinding session, which was illogical and made no progress in his suffering.

Ketan Sanghvi further claimed that despite such extensive treatment by Clove Dental, he was subjected to untold physical and mental agony. He further claimed that the steroids he was given increased his diabetes despite his leading a healthy lifestyle.

Later, when he approached other doctors, he was told that according to medical practise, after the root canal is done, it should be left open for a few days so that any infection can ooze out or come out if present, but Clove Dental performed the root canal treatment, cemented or closed on the same day of the procedure by closing all routes for the infection to ooze out naturally, which was contrary to standard procedures.

It was claimed that the first incident of infection was not discovered by the dentists at Clove Dental, and that this was nothing more than a deficiency and neglect in service on their part.

However, as per the Histopathology report supplied by the Clove Dental, the infection was not neglected, and all diagnostic procedures and testing were carried out adequately by relevant specialists during each session of the Ketan Sanghvi.

The court pointed out that all of the facts submitted by Clove Dental, along with the evidence, clearly showed that the complainant's treatment continued with them due to recurring pain and swelling in the left jaw following the RCT in January 2018 until December 2018, and antibiotics were prescribed for the infection.

The Histopathology report also revealed that AFB is negative, with no indication of malignancy, but only persistent inflammation and fibrosis.

The court also noted that Ketan Sanghvi still experienced pain and swelling in his left jaw and received treatment from Clove Dental for the discomfort, inflammation, and infection following diagnostic procedures to determine the root cause of the infection. According to the medical records, the complainant was treated for nodular edoema of the left chin with analgesics, antacids, anti-inflammatory medications, and supportive care.

It was also evident that the complainant's therapy for his tooth problem had not ended by March 2018 following the RCT but had continued due to inflammation and infection until December 2018, as admitted by Clove Dental.

The court added that Clove Dental failed to present any evidence demonstrating that the complainant was informed of the file breakage.

The court acknowledged Ketan Sanghvi's prolonged saga of suffering for more than a year following the root canal treatment performed by Clove Dental in January 2018 until December 2018, with no relief whatsoever due to post-operative problems and infection.

The court remarked that the fact that the complaint was being treated for more than a year by various dentists from Clove Dental, as listed in the complainant's cause title, was substantial proof that they failed to provide any relief to Ketan Sanghvi.

The court noted that the above facts on record lead to the unavoidable conclusion that Clove Dental failed to provide proper treatment by diagnosing the root cause of the inflammation and infection and that the non-disclosure of the untoward breakage of the endodontic file during the RCT and failure to rectify the same amounts to negligence and deficiency of service by Clove Dental.

Based on the findings, the court ruled in favour of Ketan Sanghvi, that he was entitled to compensation for the untold suffering he endured for more than a year following root canal treatment by Clove Dental, as well as for the mental trauma and financial loss incurred as a result of the prolonged treatment.

The court ordered Clove Dental to pay Rs 2 lakh in compensation for loss, mental anguish, and suffering, plus 6 percent interest from January 2018 till the date of actual payment, and to pay Rs 50,000 in litigation costs within 45 days of receiving the order from the court.

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