Dentists are medical professionals which who can be liable for medical malpractice through a dental malpractice action. This also includes hygienists and other dental assistants. There are many different types of dental malpractice cases which can give raise to liability. Under a negligence theory, the negligent dental providers can be liable to the victim for the victim’s injuries. This allows the victim to receive compensation for damage to his or her teeth, mouth, nerves, and affected areas.
One of the most common types of dental malpractice cases involves root canals. This is a procedure which people automatically hate right away, and the thought of a dental professional making a mistake to make the root canal more painful is even worse. Root canals are rather large procedures, cause a lot of pain, and can take a long time to heal.
There are several different causes of dental malpractice in performing a root canal. One of the most common is whether to do a root canal in the first place. Sometimes dentists unnecessarily perform root canal procedures. This could because they have overestimated the damage to the tooth, or because they want to bill the insurance carrier for the procedure which is not medical required. Performing an unnecessary surgery can easily be medical malpractice in any field of medicine, including dentistry.
Another common cause of root canal dental malpractice is drilling too deep in the tooth. When this happens, the dentist can cut through the bottom of the tooth. This can result in an infection, massive swelling, and the overall procedure failing. This can also result in serious gum damage, jaw bone damage, and even loss of the tooth.
Failing to properly clean out the inside of the tooth is also dental malpractice. Sometimes part of the root, which is removed in a root canal, is left inside of the tooth. This causes the root to rot and become infected, which causes horrific pain, swelling, and damage to a victim’s mouth.
Additionally, failing to re-fill the tooth with the proper amount of core—or filling—can result in additional infections and damage. Failing to put an adequate post, the hard structure which supports the tooth structure and the crown, can cause the entire root canal procedure to fail and the tooth to fracture or break.
Finally, putting an improperly sized crown on can also cause serious pain and suffering and be dental malpractice. This can cause damage to nearby teeth or teeth on the other side of the mouth (top or bottom). This can also result in the impaction of food along the crown and the margins between the tooth and the gums, which can lead to cavities, infection, and periodontal disease. This is also dental malpractice.
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