Going to the dentist is stressful for most people. Placing your oral hygiene in a skilled medical professional’s hands is essential for your dental health and requires trust. What happens when a dentist violates this trust by committing malpractice that causes pain and emotional distress?
If you suffered injuries because of dental malpractice, the personal injury lawyers at Nessler & Associates will hold the dentist accountable and help you recover the maximum damages the law allows.
What Constitutes Dental Malpractice?
Dental malpractice is when a dentist negligently performs a dental service, failing to offer safe and effective dental care according to medical and dental professional procedures.
The law holds medical professionals to higher standards than in other fields because failure to follow proper treatment protocols can be detrimental to patients’ health. When a dentist does not meet this standard of care, the law considers it malpractice, and the dentist can face legal consequences.
What Are the Potential Effects of Dental Malpractice on Your Life?
Dental malpractice can injure patients and potentially put them in life-threatening danger. From damaging the oral cavity to failing to detect a serious underlying condition, a dentist’s actions can have a wide range of consequences.
A poor dental procedure can damage a patient’s appearance, while undiagnosed oral cancer can lead to a patient’s death. Botched dental procedures can lead to nerve damage or infection, and patients can lose vital confidence from missing teeth due to dental negligence. They may experience difficulty eating from losing a tooth or suffer reduced productivity at school or work from dental mistakes.
Studies show a connection between untreated, periodontal disease and serious conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Those who suffer from gum disease have two to three times the risk of developing severe cardiovascular issues.
Besides affecting your health and appearance, dental malpractice can have financial repercussions. Patients may have to spend large sums of money on corrective action and can suffer lost wages due to time off work.
What Are the Types of Dental Malpractice?
Several different factors determine a successful visit to the dentist’s office. Whether you are there for teeth cleaning, a dental exam, or a root canal, your dentist needs to have everything in place to provide proper dental treatment. Dental malpractice occurs when your dentist does not follow proper procedures or performs unnecessary treatments.
An unethical oral health care provider can attempt to profit by providing unnecessary treatment to the patient. Unnecessary treatment, especially procedures that result in injury, may warrant a dental malpractice lawsuit.
Dentists must renew their licenses. If a dental hygienist or dentist’s license expires or has been revoked or suspended, it is illegal for them to administer treatment or perform and supervise procedures.
Dental equipment that malfunctions during a procedure can harm a patient. Failing to sterilize equipment can allow dangerous and potentially life-threatening infections properly. If your dentist fails to clean or maintain their equipment, you might pursue a dental malpractice claim.
Improper staff training
Dental assistants can also administer medical care in a dental office. You can make a medical malpractice claim against office staff that performed an injurious procedure without proper training.
Failure to diagnose
A dentist who fails to diagnose a periodontal disease or oral cancer or advise a patient of a diagnosis can severely affect the malpractice victim’s quality of life. In this case, the dentist violates their duty of care and places the patient’s life at risk, which may fall under a malpractice claim.
Damage to facial nerves can cause pain, drooling, loss of taste, and can even impair speech in a patient. This can occur during wisdom tooth extraction or while placing dental implants. Anesthesia errors can also present problems. Too little can leave the dental patient open to feeling pain, while too much can damage oral nerves and even result in death.
Lack of informed consent
Illinois law requires dentists to provide patients with adequate information about the procedure or treatment they intend to administer. If you believe your dentist has performed a procedure without your informed consent, speak with a dental malpractice attorney from Nessler & Associates about filing a malpractice claim.
Initiating a Dental Malpractice Claim
Dentists must provide a high standard of care for their patients. If you’re suffering from a dental injury due to dental errors or any other negligence from a recent visit to your oral surgeon or dentist, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Nessler & Associates. We will review your case and help you pursue maximum compensation.
Contact our law firm today at 800-727-8010. We offer free initial consultations for dental malpractice victims.