Why might someone need to hire a Los Angeles dental malpractice attorney? Easy. Because everyone understands that in a city like Los Angeles, the home of all things Hollywood – including the glitzy and glamorous world of beautiful actors and models – physical appearances matter. Dentists don’t just clean teeth anymore, no. The profession has expanded into a lucrative field of “cosmetic dentistry” and the varying types of procedures that are offered by dentists in Los Angeles have quadrupled.
So, too, have the instances of so called “Dental Malpractice” where one suffers significant loss or pain at the hands of a negligent dentist. It’s a numbers game. The more people in Los Angeles go to a dentist for major procedures, the more procedures are done. The more procedures that are done by more dentists, the more the chances are that end up with someone who is not qualified and something goes wrong. When something does go wrong, it’s time to call a Los Angeles personal injury attorney who specializes in dental malpractice; also known as a Los Angeles dental malpractice attorney.
Los Angeles resident Guy Terry went to a Los Angeles area dentist in 2006 to get three teeth extracted as a result of crowding of his teeth. The dentist mistakenly extracted eight upper teeth, believing that the “3” was an “8”. The restorative surgery to fix the damage was estimated to cost about $60,000. Guy Terry found a dental malpractice attorney in Los Angeles, sued the dentist and won a large settlement that was later challenged on an unsuccessful appeal.
What is significant about dental malpractice is what it shares in common with legal malpractice and medical malpractice, which is this: Dental malpractice concerns an action that a dentist does to cause harm to his dental patient – something they did or should not have done. But dental malpractice also concerns a dentist’s failure to act, such as failing to diagnose a serious problem that eventually causes injury or death.
Sally Newton was an aspiring actress in Los Angeles. Over two years she paid several visits to a Los Angeles cosmetic dentist, who bleached her yellowish teeth to a bright white, straightened her teeth gave her a movie star smile. Why the dentist didn’t see the brown spots on her tongue, caused by years of chewing smokeless tobacco is a mystery. By the time the oral cancer was diagnosed a year later, she had to have part of her tongue removed as well as parts of her gums and cheek.
Her Los Angeles dental malpractice attorney subpoenaed the cosmetic dentist’s records and proved the obvious; this dentist has been negligent for failing to diagnose Sally’s oral cancer. The dentist’s malpractice insurance carrier was quick to offer a large and fair settlement before the case even went to trial. Not that they weren’t prepared to fight it out. Sally located a Los Angeles personal injury attorney that specialized in dental malpractice cases and she was successful.
If you live in …
The Medi-Cal program, which provides health care coverage for qualifying California residents – announced this month that it will restore dental coverage benefits to its beneficiaries who lost their coverage as a result of state budget cuts in 2009. With the restored benefits, more Californians will be able to receive important dental care coverage that they had to go without for a portion of last year. The Medi-Cal program is offered through Health Net of California.
Many health insurance plans provide optional dental benefits for their plan subscribers. The optional dental health insurance benefits come with an additional monthly fee. Health insurance subscribers are not required to enroll in a dental health insurance coverage option even when they enroll in a health insurance plan. However, consumers should be aware that dental services and products are not covered under standard health insurance plans unless subscribers opt for dental coverage.
“Dental benefits are just as essential as medical benefits,” said Robert Shechet, DDS, director of dental programs for Health Net of California. “Studies have shown that poor dental health can lead to heart attacks, strokes, premature or low-birthweight deliveries, diabetes complications and other serious medical conditions. Through this offering, Health Net is helping Medi-Cal beneficiaries be healthier.”
The Medi-Cal program through Health Net provides comprehensive medical benefits to nearly 450,000 beneficiaries in Los Angeles County. Health Net of California provides Medi-Cal coverage in 10 counties across California, reaching more than 700,000 individuals. In addition to the Medi-Cal coverage that Health Net provides, it also provides Health Families coverage to about 150,000 consumers in 35 counties across California.
With specific regards to dental coverage, Health Net provides dental health care coverage to about 50,000 Medi-Cal participants in Sacramento and Los Angeles and to an additional 90,000 beneficiaries of the Health Families program.
Health Net has already been providing substitute dental coverage for Medi-Cal beneficiaries who lost coverage in the 2009 cutbacks. “Health Net is committed to helping Californians be healthy,” said Dave Meadows, Health Net of California’s vice president of State Health Programs. “We believe we are the only health plan in California extending dental benefits to adult beneficiaries, and providing substitute dental benefits to adults in the Medi-Cal program until the usual or similar benefits are restored is one more way we are working to preserve California’s medical and dental safety net.”
“Continued access to dental care is crucial for Medi-Cal beneficiaries, and even more so for those with disabilities and other challenging medical conditions,” said Irma Resendez, founder and president of Familia Unida, a non-profit organization serving thousands of individuals and families affected by multiple sclerosis and other conditions in Southern California. “Too often, we see people whose dental conditions deteriorate and later become medical problems because they do not have coverage for dental care and cannot afford to visit a dentist.”
California health insurance consumers should take time now to reexamine their health insurance plans to ensure that they have dental coverage. Unless they have specifically requested the optional dental …