Types of Dental Malpractice?
Dental malpractice can occur due to a variety of dental procedures. More than 13 percent of medical malpractice claims are filed due to treatment that did not meet the standard level of care. Consequences may include physical, painful, and financial turmoil.
Learn more about the common types of dental malpractice incidents and what to do if you have suffered. Start your journey to justice by scheduling a consultation with one of our experienced dental malpractice lawyers in Florida and Georgia!
What Are Common Reasons for the Filing of Dental Malpractice Cases?
There are many reasons a dental patient may file a dental malpractice claim. Dental negligence may result in harmful consequences, especially during surgical procedures. Any deviation from the standard of care can constitute malpractice. For example, a dentist may deliver subpar care, delay treatment, or act in various ways beneath an acceptable dental standard.
Common reasons someone may file a dental malpractice case include:
- Anesthesia complications
- Oral-nerve injuries
- Failure to diagnose or treat a condition
- Lack of informed consent
- Delayed treatment
Common Examples of Dental Malpractice
Let’s dive deeper into some of the most common examples of dental malpractice.
Dentist Using Excessive Force on Young Patients
The standard level of care dictates that dentists should administer dental procedures as pain-free as possible. Unfortunately, many dentists exert excessive force on patients. Excessive force can include choking patients, psychological abuse, or even threatening to kill patients.
Performing Non-Medically Necessary Dental malpractice Procedures
Dentists may also recommend treatments that are not medically necessary. Examples of unnecessary treatment include extracting teeth that do not need to be removed, performing a procedure to get a financial kickback from a dental supplier, or recommending needless treatment.
Not Using Appropriate Anesthetic
Dental treatment frequently requires the use of an anesthetic. However, dentists may administer not enough or too much anesthesia during a procedure. Not enough anesthesia can result in immense pain. Too much anesthesia can cause complications like brain damage, vomit, choke, or, in tragic circumstances, premature death.
Broken Instrument/Broken File
Part of a dentist’s operating tool may break off and settle inside an open tooth cavity during a dental procedure. When this happens, the patient will need an additional surgical procedure to remove that fragment. Removal may result in unnecessary medical bills and costly dental bills.
During oral surgery — such as a wisdom tooth extraction — a dentist may injure a patient’s jaw. Often these injuries are due to dental negligence. Broken jaws may wind up compromising the alignment of your teeth, leading to further health complications.
A dentist may break or chip a tooth during a dental procedure to repair or extract another tooth. If untreated, broken teeth can lead to more significant problems like infection and discomfort.
A dental extraction is a standard dental procedure. But when it is irresponsibly, it can lead to many issues. These issues include fractured jaws, sinus perforation, infections, bleeding, or even death.
One of the most common forms of dental malpractice occurs during a tooth filling. While these seem like routine procedures, careless dentists may drill too deep, causing permanent nerve damage.
Improperly Sterilized Tools
Dental cleanings require tools that are reused for each patient. Usually, these tools are sterilized between patients. However, sometimes a dentist’s sterilization procedures aren’t enough to eliminate dangerous viruses. Improperly sterilized instruments have exposed patients to hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV.
A root canal is a common dental procedure, but a doctor may leave permanent nerve damage if negligently performed.
Crowns and Veneers
A dentist may improperly bond or administer an irregularly-sized crown or veneer. They may also pick a wrong colored veneer that does not match the patient’s teeth.
Inadequately extracted wisdom teeth may lead to severe complications, including nerve damage, loss of taste, or excessive bleeding.
Dentists may extract the wrong tooth or perform a dental procedure on the wrong tooth. These mistakes can result in the need for repeat procedures and unnecessary pain.
Nerve damage occurs due to a variety of dental procedures. These include tooth extractions, root canals, and fillings. In some cases, it can lead to permanent chin or lip damage and even partial paralysis.
Orthodontic Treatment & Braces
Braces are one of the most common orthodontic treatments. Dentists may recommend braces or invisalign when they are not necessary or leave them longer than needed to make additional money. Improperly prescribed treatment may result in lifelong damage.
Older patients may require dentures when their teeth reach the end of their function. While being fitted for dentures, there are many opportunities for severe missteps. For example, a dentist may not correctly fit the dentures, which may affect treatment effectiveness.
Failure to diagnose periodontal disease is one of the most common reasons for filing a dental malpractice lawsuit. Delayed diagnosis may lead to additional dental complications and additional expensive treatment costs.
A dental perforation is a severe dental injury that can cause infection and affect how the sinus functions. When dentists do not diagnose this issue, they may be jeopardizing your health.
If You’ve Been Injured, Contact Us For a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Options
We trust dentists with the wellbeing and longevity of our smile. They should be held accountable when they violate that trust. Dental malpractice can cause lifelong injury and may wind up costing you thousands in out-of-pocket expenses. You shouldn’t have to bear this burden alone.
You deserve answers. If you — or a loved one — has suffered due to negligent dental practices, you owe it to yourself to contact an experienced dental malpractice lawyer. Farah & Farah has a winning track record of helping clients get the justice they deserve. Contact our legal team now for your free-no obligation case review.