Orthodontic Patient Loses Teeth Due To Misread X-Rays

Orthodontic Expert

This case involves a 14-year-old boy with dental braces and a history of root resorption. He had his braces on for 18 months and routinely received X-rays to monitor his root resorption. Within of week after his braces were removed, the boy’s teeth fell out and he required 26 implants. It was alleged that the treating orthodontist misread the X-rays and failed to adequately prevent damage to the patient’s teeth. An expert orthodontist was sought to review the course of treatment and opine on the standard of care.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please describe your background in orthodontics.
  • 2. Have you ever treated patients similar to the one described in the summary?
  • 3. In general, what type of monitoring should take place with a patient that has a history of root resorption?

Expert Witness Response E-018938

I am a full-time academic program director and chair of orthodontics and have given numerous lectures on this topic. I have treated many patients who have a history of root resorption. I have developed and established two advanced education training programs in the specialty of orthodontics for various hospitals in a major metropolitan area. Root resorption can only be monitored via X-rays and is a risk associated with braces. Therefore, I would try to dissuade them from having any treatment whatsoever. Specifics would be dependent upon patient’s age and the degree of root resorption.

Expert Witness Response E-007480

I am a professor and director of orthodontics at a major medical university. My research interests are focused on the fundamental mechanism of tooth eruption. I have extensive experience lecturing in the U.S. and Europe, as well as in parts of Asia. Root resorption is known to occur after trauma and in response to inflammation. It is typically monitored with frequent X-rays depending on the situation.


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