Do You Have A Case?

Dentistry is a highly specialized profession, requiring years of schooling and clinical expertise. However, it can also take a toll on your body. Because of this, it is important for a dentist to have insurance to protect yourself in the event of a debilitating injury or condition. If you become unable to work at your practice because of a disability, it is important to have long-term disability insurance. Unfortunately, having insurance isn’t enough to get the benefits when you need them. You will have to prove to the insurance company that you are truly disabled. This can be an arduous process, especially when you may not be able to take care of your dentist’s office while waiting for approval.

young female dentist talking with patient in dentist chairAn experienced disability attorney can help you with the long-term disability claim process. If you are a dentist who was in an accident or developed a condition that limits your capacity to work, it is important that you get the money you deserve.

Occupational Duties of a Dentist

According to the Department of Labor, a dentist is a light occupation that requires state licensing to practice. For the position, you are likely required to perform a significant amount of standing/walking, bending, and reaching. Occupational requirements involve both cognitive function and dexterous capabilities. This includes the ability to examine, diagnose, and treat injuries or diseases of the death and gums. It also includes treatments such as cleanings, fillings, tooth extractions, preventative dental services, and much more. The ability to use rotary hand instruments is also a necessity. Additionally, the dentist must be able to properly educate patients in oral and dental hygiene practices at home.

Furthermore, a dentist should be able to quickly and repeatedly adjust tools or machines. Precise coordination in finger movement is a requirement for dental work. As a dentist, you often have to manipulate or assemble very small objects accurately, such as adjustments to braces or retainers. Effectively communicating with patients, dental hygienists, nurses, and other coworkers is essential. Lastly, prolonged concentration is a key part of the job.

Dentist Disability and Patient Safety

Unfortunately, disabling conditions can cause physical or cognitive symptoms which can compromise your ability to perform these tasks. Even if you are able to perform some of your daily tasks, not being able to effectively meet all of the above conditions could compromise the health and safety of your patients. In order to avoid a malpractice suit, and properly treat your disabling condition, it is important to work with a disability attorney to increase the chances of a successful insurance claim.

Dentist’s Long-Term Physical Disabilities

There is a wide assortment of physical ailments that may lead to debilitation. Whether caused by injury or disease, your body, and especially your hands, are vital to the performance of your occupation. Because of the standing, walking, and bending requirements of the occupation, a back injury can be a serious disability.

A dentist also needs to be able to safely manipulate tools to examine and treat a patient. Arthritis in the hands and wrists from frequent, repeated movements can be a common issue for dentists. If it becomes more severe, it can be debilitating. Nerve damage from conditions such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Peripheral Neuropathy could also affect your ability to work with your hands.

Cognitive Conditions that Could Disable A Dentist

A dentist needs clear cognitive function in order to perform the duties of their occupation. Cognitive deficits such as concentration issues, memory loss, lack of critical thinking, headaches, and more can limit your ability to work safely. Losing focus while performing a dental exam or more invasive procedures can create dangerous results. Cognitive deficits can come as the result of a wide array of conditions, from traumatic brain injuries to pain syndromes, or even mental health issues.

Communication Issues A Dentist May Face From Disability

Some disabilities affect your ability to effectively and efficiently communicate with patients or coworkers. Conditions that affect your hearing, such as Tinnitus or an Acoustic Neuroma, may limit your ability to hear patient questions or concerns, for example. If your condition prevents you from communicating to your assistants or effectively seeing to patients’ needs, you may be disabled.

Disability Challenges For Dentist Claims

Generally, the insurance company will focus on the physical requirements of your occupation, namely the standing/walking portion. However, most disabilities are more multifaceted. Different conditions can create a wide assortment of physical and/or cognitive issues that can prevent you from working. Overall your claim will need to provide the insurer with a full understanding of how your condition affects your ability to perform your job. After all, it isn’t just about your health and safety, but that of your patients as well.

Can an Attorney Help Me Get Long-Term Disability for Dentist Claims?

If you are looking to file a long-term disability claim as a dentist, you should seek out an experienced attorney. At D’Agostino & Associates, we help people living with disabling conditions file long-term disability claims. We help you through the process step by step to help you build a strong case. Our law team is here for you.

At D’Agostino & Associates, our team of lawyers can help you sort through all the details, understand what you are entitled to, and fight to get what you deserve. D’Agostino & Associates P.C. has offices in New York and New Jersey. Contact us, or call us at 1-888-245-2924 to schedule a free consultation with our attorneys.