OLG Hamm: The dentist should not be pushed by the patient
Hamm (jur). Doctors and dentists may not treat the medical standard even if patients expressly request it. This was decided by the Higher Regional Court (OLG) Hamm in a judgment announced on Monday, June 27, 2016, in the case of a dentist (file number: 26 U 116/14).
In the specific case, the patient was dissatisfied with a crown used by another dentist in the side area and also wanted a restoration of her front teeth. However, the dentist found malfunctions of the temporomandibular joints and the entire chewing apparatus.
The dentist initially wanted to treat these disorders with a "bite splint", an individually made plastic pad for the denture. After that, he wanted to look at the posterior teeth and only then finally at the anterior teeth.
According to her own statements, the dentist informed the patient of the meaning of this sequence, but then, at the patient's request, started prematurely with the restoration of the front teeth. As a result, the bite height was insufficient and new problems occurred at the temporomandibular joints.
The patient attributes this to incorrect treatment. With her lawsuit, she claims 25,000 euros in damages, 17,300 euros in household management damages and the repayment of the dental fee of 3,750 euros.
The regional court agreed with the patient. It sentenced the dentist to repay the fee and initiated a so-called amount procedure to determine the amount of the further compensation.
The OLG Hamm has now confirmed this. The dentist really started treating the disorders of the chewing apparatus. He then let the patient dissuade her and terminated this therapy prematurely. Instead, he started the anterior tooth restoration “too early”. As a result, the bite height was set incorrectly and there were further problems with the temporomandibular joints that could not be eliminated later.
The dentist could not rely on the fact that the patient had explicitly requested this, the OLG Hamm emphasized in its already final judgment of April 26, 2016. Rather, the dentist should have rejected the treatment against the medical standard. A detailed instruction about the possible consequences of incorrect treatment could not change that. Such advice could not justify a "wrong treatment". mwo / fle