Visiting a dentist to have work done is stressful for most people. Even though most dentists have the skill and attentive mindset to make dental care and restorations a routine task, dental malpractice can happen to any patient.
If you’re a dental malpractice victim, the personal injury attorneys at Nessler & Associates can help you recover damages from a negligent dentist responsible for your injuries. Our experienced lawyers can help you pursue a dental malpractice claim, so you receive fair compensation for medical expenses and non-economic damages you incur.
What is Dental Malpractice?
Like other healthcare workers, dental professionals must maintain a standard of care to keep their patients safe. Dental malpractice is the act of a dental professional harming a patient by intentionally or unintentionally failing to apply the best medical practices.
When there is an injury or wrongful death from dental malpractice, a medical malpractice claim can prove the dental professional’s negligence.
Types of Dental Malpractice
If the dentist doesn’t follow proper dental protocol when treating a patient, regular procedures such as tooth extraction or root canals can leave the patient vulnerable to infections. These infections can lead to lifelong oral health issues and nerve damage, requiring more expensive dental treatments.
The improper administration of anesthesia can occur when the patient’s medical record is not considered beforehand or if the patient was over-sedated or undersedated. Mismanagement of anesthesia can lead to a wide range of potential side effects, from milder symptoms like agitation and dizziness to life-threatening seizures and coma.
They may also experience dental trauma such as broken teeth, physical impairment, and even death. In a 2017 review, a study found that 73% of deaths from dental anesthesia occurred during extractions and restorative procedures.
Oral nerve damage can lead to loss of feeling, difficulty eating, and painful headaches. For example, a dental surgeon can actively damage a patient’s oral nerve by piercing it with a syringe. It can also cause a burning sensation in the jaw, lip, tongue, or cheek. Damage to the lingual nerve can happen due to injections your dentist conducts during a procedure, leading to loss of sensation.
Improper drug administration
Dentists may prescribe antibiotics to prevent a dangerous infection after a dental procedure. The correct antibiotic dosage must be based on the patient’s medical history, weight, and age.
Only 12% of dentists provide an adequate dosage of antibiotics. If the dentist fails to administer the proper antibiotic dosage, it can lead to serious health issues, such as gastric issues.
Failure to diagnose oral diseases
The dentist must perform additional tests and recommend treatment for oral diseases such as gum disease or oral cancer. Otherwise, undiagnosed periodontal disease can lead to cardiovascular disease if not treated. Undetected cancers in the mouth can spread and become life-threatening or fatal.
Wrongful Death Due to Dental Negligence
Wrongful death in a dentist’s office can occur because the doctor ignores a patient’s distress signs or administers improper treatment. Adverse reactions to anesthesia or performing too many dental procedures during one visit can also lead to death.
Failing to recognize dangers in a patient’s history and taking the necessary precautions to avoid infection are negligent behaviors that can put a patient’s life at risk.
If you are considering suing for wrongful death or pursuing compensation, you need a law firm familiar with wrongful death verdicts, awards, and insurance as they apply to medical malpractice.
Dental Negligence Claims Process
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you deal with malpractice insurers, whether your case sees litigation or ends with an out-of-court settlement. These insurers may attempt to get you to accept a smaller settlement than is necessary to meet your needs, including treatment and lost wages.
Your attorney establishes that a dentist-patient relationship existed when the injury occurred. Providing patient records or insurance bills for treatment is enough to establish this relationship and the resulting duty of care.
Medical standard of care
The attorney can consult with a medical expert to determine if the dental professional followed an acceptable standard of care in your dental treatment. The expert can share what a dentist with similar training would have provided in the procedure to keep the patient safe.
Show breach of care and injury severity
After establishing the proper care you should have received, your lawyer determines where the negligent dentist failed, using the help of an expert witness, if necessary. Showing a breach of care and proving the victim’s injury severity requires presenting comprehensive documentation, including medical records and bills.
Your dental malpractice lawyer can negotiate on your behalf and help you recover maximum compensation for harm to your health and quality of life. They can also ensure you file your personal injury claim within the two-year statute of limitations.
Get Legal Help from a Dental Medical Malpractice Attorney
Suffering from dental malpractice can be painful and debilitating. If you or someone you know is a victim of a dentist’s negligent actions, the dental malpractice attorneys at Nessler & Associates can get you the compensation you deserve.
With over 35 years of experience, we can evaluate the settlement offer you receive from the dentist’s malpractice insurance and file a medical malpractice lawsuit if your rights for full compensation are not met.
Call us at (800) 727-8010 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your situation and learn how we can help you get the compensation you deserve. We fight for justice on your behalf.