Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional commits a negligent act during the course of treating the patient. Any and every medical professional can be held accountable for any and every negligent act made against the patient during the course of the doctor patient relationship.
Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys wish to make it clear that medical malpractice is not limited to surgeons and general practitioners. Chiropractors can be guilty of medical malpractice, so to can nurses, podiatrists, oncologists, and even hospitals. But more specifically, as the title of this post suggests, dentists can too be held accountable under medical malpractice principles.
Dentists have been trained to treat every mouth aliment imaginable. They also handle merely cosmetic changes desired by a patient. Obviously we are talking about crowns, caps, bridges, root canals, tooth extractions, fillings, and the like. It makes no difference if the treatment was elective or necessary; the injured patient can recover damages either way.
Dental appointments are typically scheduled to occur every six months. X-rays will be received as a matter of course annually. This is when dental needs and problems are diagnosed and addressed. Or at least this is when such things should be addressed.
In fact, dentists owe a duty to patients to properly diagnose and treat them. But dentists and assistants can misdiagnose a patient’s ailment, or they can fail to diagnose the patient at all. Even if dentists accurately and timely diagnose a patient, they can still commit negligence when attempting to cure the patient. For example, a dentist can make a mistake when repairing a cavity and the patient will need a root canal as a result. Nerve damage is extremely painful and the root canal procedure is painful.
Many medical problems related to the teeth and mouth are extremely painful and can be a source of embarrassment for the patient. Mistakes made by a dentist worsen these issues. Negligently treated dental patients can be caused to suffer jaw disorders. The sense of taste can be lost. The mouth, tongue, gums, chin, lips and teeth can suffer temporary or permanent nerve damage. The patient can experience painful infections, uncontrollable drooling, and even cardiac arrest or brain damage if anesthesia is administered improperly.
The harmful effects of these mistakes are obvious. The patient will almost always suffer immense pain and suffering. Their ability to communicate, eat, drink, and work will be negatively impacted. The injured patient may withdraw from social activities. Medical bills could pile up at a time when the patient loses wages from missing work for dental related problems. Patient’s injuries can be so severe and long term that they may have to consider changing careers.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.