Like doctors, dentists cannot guarantee a certain outcome of any treatment or procedure. However, dentists must still provide their patients with an acceptable standard of care that meets professional standards and state regulations. In order to prove dental malpractice, it is important to show that the “departure” of medical care played a substantial role in causing the patient’s injury. Additionally, if the dentist fails to obtain informed consent from the patient, they can also be liable for medical malpractice for violating the informed consent law.
Not every outcome that is less than desirable will necessarily be the result of malpractice. At times the dental practitioner will have done everything correctly but the patient could still not do as well as was expected.
Dental malpractice includes:
- Failure to properly diagnose or treat a dental condition, and that failure results in a new or additional injury to the patient.
- If a dental professional acts in a manner that is unacceptable, unprofessional, or illegal.
Examples of dental malpractice include:
- Delayed treatment of an oral disease or other condition
- Dental surgical errors
- Failure to diagnose an oral disease or condition
- Failure to monitor an oral disease or condition
- Failure to obtain a patient’s informed consent
- Failed crown and bridge prostheses
- Improper root canal treatment
- Improper placement of dental implants
- The misuse of dental tools or infection caused by dental tools
- Unnecessarily removing teeth
- Negligent dental work
- Injuries to the nerves or structure of the tongue, jaw, chin, and lips that are either permanent or temporary
- Loss of taste or sensation either permanently or temporarily
Dental malpractice may result in a variety of different injuries, including:
- Loss of teeth
- The need to replace crown or bridgework
- Trigeminal neuralgia
Dental treatment is very expensive. But fixing negligent dental treatment can be even more expensive. Damages for dental malpractice can include compensatory damages to fix the problems caused by the dentist’s negligence, as well as for pain and suffering. Dental and medical malpractice lawsuits are not easy to win. Intense investigation and expert opinions are required.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.