Dentist Claims

As a dentist, you’re likely no stranger to hand, neck and back pain and you probably have your own personal remedies for when things get particularly bad. Maybe you ice your hands at the end of each day, see a chiropractor or get a massage on a weekly basis. Or maybe you go back to your office to stretch between patients and/or lie down to rest your legs and lower back.

The majority of our clients are dentists, and most of them come to us with the same initial question: should I stop practicing and file a disability claim, or should I just push through the pain? Many of them feel pressure to keep working, in spite of their conditions, because their income is production-based, or they own their practice and cannot afford to spend several months away from it recovering from surgery.

At the same time, continuing to work places your patients at risk and exposes you to malpractice and licensing issues. And if you have a condition like carpal tunnel or degenerative disc disease, the demands of dentistry likely caused your condition in the first place and therefore continuing to practice will likely only cause further problems, and result in the need for more procedures and surgeries down the road.

If you have found yourself in this unfortunate predicament, you probably have a lot of questions. Should I have surgery, or just try conservative treatment? If I file a claim, will my disability insurer force me to have surgery? Will surgery fix the numbness? Will I be able to go back to work? How will my practice survive while I recover? Should I sell my practice? Or should I hire on a temporary associate to keep things afloat?

Ultimately, the answers to these questions largely depend on several factors, including whether you own your practice, the nature of your condition, your insurer, when your policies were issued, and what the key definitions in your policy say, among other things. Regardless of where you are in the disability claims process, our firm is here to help. We’ve compiled the resources below for dentists who are interested in learning more about the disability claims process. Our attorneys are also happy to answer your questions, so feel free to contact us directly with your questions, or submit your question using the link below.

Dentist Resources

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